At almost every Scripps PRSSA meeting or professional development course, everyone always says the key to success is networking. Career professionals share their stories about how they received a job or past internship, and it all comes down to who you know. So now that we know we HAVE to network to get jobs after college, how do we do it? The easiest first step to building your professional network is LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a way to create a virtual resumé and portfolio to illustrate your experience. The connection feature allows you to become friends with other professionals on LinkedIn. This is a core way to network with individuals and get the most out of LinkedIn. There’s a whole lot that can be said about LinkedIn, here are just a few of my top takeaways.
Connecting with others. Building your network on LinkedIn enhances your chances of making connections with others that can lead to job opportunities. Whenever you work with a professional or hear them speak and really enjoyed their message, connect with them on LinkedIn and add them to your network. Including a message, even if just a short introduction. makes the connection more personal. Remember it’s not all about numbers–don’t connect with complete strangers just to have a high connection number.
Skills & endorsements. Skills and endorsements are a great way to receive praise for your impressive work and experience. Anytime you work with professionals, encourage them to rate your skills and write you reviews. These positive endorsements will be very appealing when potential employers view your profile and see others can attest to your skills. Likewise, endorse people you’ve worked with and share all of their great accomplishments!
Follow pages and join Groups. Follow pages of any companies you’d be interested in working for! Company pages frequently post about job openings and it’s a great way to learn about a brand and their mission. Equally as important, join groups! Whether it’s a high school or college alumni page, or an organization you’re in now, joining groups allows you to connect and build relationships with other people you instantly have a similarity with. This makes reaching out to people on LinkedIn so much easier. Something as easy as, “Hey! I see you’re also in the Scripps Alumni group! I’d love to learn more about your current position” can be a great conversation starter for those in the same group you’re in.
Scripps PRSSA is on LinkedIn! Make sure to follow the Scripps PRSSA LinkedIn page and add it to your profile!
LinkedIn can seem really intimidating at first, but once you create your profile and begin testing different features and looking at other pages for inspiration, you can start to build your LinkedIn brand!
Connect with me on LinkedIn to keep this conversation going and grow your network!
Vivian is a junior studying strategic communication and the current VP of Social Media for Scripps PRSSA! Follow her on Twitter @vmooose.