In this lesson, you’ll be introduced to LinkedIn. Well show you what it is and what it does. We’ll also give you some resources to help you get started using it.
Create a profile on LinkedIn.
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a social networking site that makes it easy for you to expand your professional network and make new business contacts. It operates under the premise popularized in the play Six Degrees of Separation by John Guare (later made into a movie), that any person on earth can be connected to any other person on earth through a network of not more than five people. If you’re new to social networking and using the Internet to promote yourself, this is a good place to start.
To understand what LinkedIn does, click here to watch a video and take a tour of my LinkedIn profile.
As you can see, LinkedIn does several things:
- First, it’s an online résumé that lets anyone search for you and find out more about you.
- Next, it’s a place where you can find and connect with people you know. You can see what your colleagues and friends are doing and they can follow your career.
- LinkedIn is also a place where you can become familiar with your friends’ friends and colleagues. When you click on any of your connections, you can see information about their connections. Through your connections, you can be connected to thousands of people around the world. If one of your connections has a friend you’d like to meet, you can ask for an introduction. Similarly, your friends’ friends can see your profile and may ask to be introduced to you.
- Finally, LinkedIn is a place you can make new connections and grow your sphere of influence. In future lessons, we’ll explore how to use LinkedIn to do that.
Your assignment: Create a profile on LinkedIn.
- Go to www.LinkedIn.com. If you’re not a member of LinkedIn, the screen will look like this.
- Create Your Profile. To get started, enter your name, your email address and a password. From there, LinkedIn will prompt you to complete your profile by entering your work history and your educational background. You’ll be encouraged to write a narrative Summary about yourself and to upload a photo. Be as thorough as possible when you complete your profile. The more information you share about yourself, the easier it is for LinkedIn to identify and suggest people you might know.
- Let LinkedIn Search Your Contact List. If you use a webmail account (e.g., gmail, yahoo, aol, Windows Live hotmail, etc), LinkedIn can search your contacts to let you know who on your contact list is already a LinkedIn user. Then you can invite those people to connect with you.
- Use the Learning Center. If you get stuck while you’re creating your profile, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the link to the “Learning Center” where you’ll find the tools you need to help you get your profile done.
- Leave a Comment. Click on the “Comments” tab above and leave a message to let me know how it went.