LinkedIn is the primary social networking collaboration that can be utilized to support your career development. You are encouraged to use LinkedIn to connect with people who can share their experiences, and potentially link you to other individuals on the platform and beyond. You have developed a compelling LinkedIn profile – now what?
There are several ways to engage on LinkedIn. Below are some tips on commenting, joining groups, and messaging connections.
Comment on Posts
You are encouraged to comment on posts that you find interesting. Networking is about commenting and communicating. It is more powerful, meaning it enhances the visibility that your profile gets, to comment rather than only “like” a post.
Groups to Consider Joining
1. Join UConn’s Center for Career Development’s LinkedIn page – https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7440623/
2. Visit UConn’s Alumni Page to reach out to Alums – https://www.linkedin.com/company/uconnalumni/
3. Professional groups on LinkedIn in your industry/field
4. Affinity groups that you relate to
LinkedIn Connection Request – Expand your Network
Are you interested in a particular company? Search for people who work at those companies. Invite them to connect. Remember that this is information gathering rather than specifically requesting a job. Message the person, introduce yourself, and explain why you would like to connect.
Alums have been in your very similar situation and are often willing to help current UConn students. Develop a relationship with alumni. Ask them about their career journey. Ask for their advice and if they experienced obstacles along the way.
Only after you have built a relationship with the alum might you then learn more about opportunities in the company at which they work. No one is going to refer you or jeopardize their reputation by recommending someone for a position without really knowing that the person is competent.
Sample Correspondence to Alumni:
I see you graduated from UConn in ________. I am finishing my degree this spring and I am interested in learning more about __________. I would love to connect with you to discuss ____________.
First Name, Last Name
Connect with Strangers/Recruiters & People with a Senior Status
On LinkedIn, it is perfectly acceptable to reach out to people you do not know. To receive a response, customize each of your correspondences. Explain who you are and why you are reaching out to the person. If possible, establish common ground. Did you meet someone from his or her company at UConn’s Career Fair? Did you hear this person present at an event on campus?
Sample Correspondence with a Stranger:
I enjoyed meeting you at UConn’s Career Fair. I am a junior at UConn studying _________. I would love to ask you a few questions about your experience in your role at _______.
First Name, Last Name
You can mention a connection that you share in common or an event of interest. You are encouraged to share tips of knowledge that you have or something newsworthy in the industry.
Potential Questions to Ask
Are you wondering what you will ask when you eventually link with a contact? Here are potential conversation starters.
- What advice would you give someone who is considering this type of job/field?
- What steps would you recommend I take to prepare to enter this field?
- What skills, abilities, and personal attributes are essential to success in your job/this field?
- Can you recommend other people or groups I should connect with?
When you request to link with someone they will most certainly look back at your LinkedIn profile so it is important to know that your profile is up-to-date and features relevant content. If you would like to learn more about developing your profile or networking on LinkedIn, meet with a Career Coach to discuss the topic.
Desirée Martino is a Career Coach at the Center for Career Development