How to use LinkedIn to Network During the Summer and School Year

By: Cidnye Weimer

If you’re a PR major you’ve probably been told to create a LinkedIn profile for yourself. So you create a profile, now what? It’s easy to put all of your information on a web page and add people to your network but what happens after that’s all said and done? The true purpose of LinkedIn isn’t just so you can make a nice page about yourself (that’s what Facebook is for) but it’s to connect with professionals to network in hopes of getting a job or an internship one day. The keyword here is network. Here are 5 ways you can use LinkedIn to network this summer and during the school year:

  1. Personalize your invitations to connect. When you send an invitation to connect with someone make sure to make it personal and not just the generic “I’d like to invite you to connect.” It shows that you have taken the time to connect with this person and that you have a personal interest. Make sure to include, how/when you met them, why you would like to connect and your name. Trust me this works!

  1. Ask someone to introduce you. A good way to connect with people that are out of your network is to have someone “introduce” you to tem. You can do this by look at that person’s network and seeing who you have in common and then ask that person to connect you with each other. A good example is: “Hey Cidnye I saw that you are connected with Nicole Spears from LaunchSquad on LinkedIn and I’d really love to work there one day so I was hoping you could introduce us.” LinkedIn even has this feature on their website making it easier for you. Remember, it never hurts to ask.

  1. Join a LinkedIn group and actively participate. One of the great features on LinkedIn     is the groups. There is pretty much everything you can think of, groups for sororities, organizations, an E.W. Scripps School of Journalism group and even a PRSSA National group. A good way to network on LinkedIn is to join a few of these groups and actively participate in discussions. It’s a good way to meet people and a lot of times there are even job postings!

  1. Make sure your profile info is up to date and accurate. Once you finally connect with someone and they are in your network, it’s important that all of your profile information is correct and an accurate representation of you so that they aren’t getting any surprises and so they know how great you are!

  2. Be Confident! More often than not, professionals love to connect with students and help them out in any way that they can. So be confident and go network!

 

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