If you are in the market for a job and you have yet to join LinkedIn, you are missing an incredible networking opportunity. The world’s largest Internet-based professional network, LinkedIn has more than 150 million members spanning more than 200 countries—including executives from all Fortune 500 companies! Can you say opportunity?
My goal today is to give you a big-picture overview of how LinkedIn works so you can begin to experience the networking benefits for yourself.
The first thing you need to do is register on LinkedIn. It only takes a few minutes and the good news is it’s free! Next, you will want to set up your profile. Essentially, your profile is an overview of your professional background, experience and skills. When people search for you, this is the information they will see, so make sure your LinkedIn profile represents you well!
Once you have finalized your profile, simply publish it and start building your network. Here’s where your networking capabilities come alive! Begin by uploading your current contacts to your profile and start reaching out to their respective connections. You can add to your contacts by searching for people and identifying common connections that you can use to request an introduction. Another great way to multiply your connections is to join an industry group, and there are plenty to choose from.
Before you know it, you will have established a strong network of professionals that will be instrumental in accomplishing your career goals—so get to it!