LinkedIn is the most widely-used social media platform designed for professional networking. LinkedIn was built with career networking in mind – it gives you the opportunity to connect with alumni, colleagues, fellow students, potential employers and many more. Not to mention, you can post and share professional content with people in your network, forging relationships you may not have otherwise had the opportunity to build. Not only can you connect with individuals, but recruiters seeking candidates can reach out to you as well. By creating a LinkedIn profile, you are inviting opportunities in a multitude of ways!
Before launching your LinkedIn outreach, be sure to prepare and to have the following items ready to make public. A career coach can review your LinkedIn profile to make sure it shows you in the best light.
- Add a professional photo to your account. Don’t have one? Visit LACS in FAC 18 to take a LinkedIn photo.
- Create a Headline that describes your primary goal. Your Headline should change as your goals change. Example: University of Texas at Austin senior seeking government-related internship.
- Craft a Summary and Profile that features your experience, skills and accomplishments.
- Set your privacy controls to allow others to view your name, headline and other info.
Once your profile is ready, try the following options to build and grow your professional network.
- Under the My Network tab, use Add Contacts to search for profiles of your friends, family and other contacts.
- Under the My Network tab, use People You May Know for suggestions.
- Under the My Network tab, use Find Alumni to search for alumni who work in industries, companies or jobs of interest to you.
- Using the Search function, explore all the LinkedIn groups that appeal to you (by topic, location, population, etc). A few groups and university pages you might want to join are LACS, UT Liberal Arts, UT Austin and Texas Exes.
When you make a connection, LinkedIn will ask how you know that person (including that you don’t know the person, which is common) and you can provide an optional note that the person will view along with your request. Many people leave the default language in the message window; however, we suggest you take advantage of this opportunity to introduce yourself. Checkout these template messages, or visit LACS for help crafting a professional networking introduction.
More on LinkedIn
Explore our Social Media page to learn how to use LinkedIn to get career insight from the 300,000+ Longhorn alumni on the platform, and to use LinkedIn for your job search.
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