LinkedIn 101 for the Late Bloomer
So, I admit I am a newbie when it comes to this subject and most of you could teach me a thing or two about it. Facebook, on the other hand, is another story all together.
What intrigues me the most about LinkedIn, is how it can help me connect with others in my field to get information, feedback and ideas about projects and processes — and to share Green River’s career opportunities. I’ve done a little research on the subject and perhaps it will convince you to try something new, in addition to Facebook.
Begin by connecting with people you know well. These might include family members, friends, current and former coworkers and supervisors (and Facebook friends :-0 ). When you’re first starting with LinkedIn, aim for adding at least 50 connections.
Joining and Contributing to Groups:
(This is the part when you start reaching out to other professionals in your field.)
LinkedIn offers many groups for users. Groups may be focused on a common profession, industry, program or affiliation. Users can join up to 50 groups. Joining a group will connect you to other individuals with common careers, interests or affiliations with whom you can share information, network, and have discussions.
Using the Search Box on LinkedIn, you can conduct a search of LinkedIn groups by keywords of interest. You will likely receive many results for each industry or keyword that you enter. It would be a good idea to compare multiple groups and see how active they are, how many members they have, and if the content interests you.
LinkedIn offers two types of groups: Members-Only Groups and Open Groups. Members-Only Groups require individuals to join the group in order to see and contribute to the discussions. The discussions cannot be shared on other social media platforms. Discussions in Open Groups are visible by anyone and can be found using Internet search engines. These discussions can also be shared on various social media platforms.
Members: You are able to view all of the members of a group you have joined. Here, you can find and send messages to people with whom you are interested in sharing information about processes and projects pertaining to your department or program.
Discussions: Group members can post discussions to encourage dialogue of interest among other members. Discussions are often focused on relevant news or updates for the particular field or trending topics in your field. If you wish to start your own discussion, you may consider posting an article you have recently read with your thoughts or opinions; posing a question about a specific topic, or requesting advice or fresh ideas.
Posting status updates on LinkedIn is a great way to interact with your connections and maintain an active presence. Similar to other social media, when you post a status, it will be shared with all of your connections. Some topics you may consider when posting a status are:
- Interesting articles you’ve read about your field or program, along with your thoughts
- Questions you have for other professionals
First degree connections are people you are directly connected to and likely know well. You will be able to see their full profiles.
Second degree connections are individuals who are directly connected to one of your first degree connections but not to you. You will be able to see your second degree connections’ full names and select information from their profiles.
Third degree connections are people who you are more distantly connected to, as they are connected to your second degree connections. Based on the individual’s privacy settings, you may be able to see a third degree connection’s full name, or you may only be able to see their first name and first initial of last name.
Group connections are members of the groups you join. Individuals elect whether or not to accept messages from group connections, so you may not be able to contact all of your group connections directly.
This concludes LinkedIn 101 for the Late Bloomer. See you on LinkedIn!