I joined the website “LinkedIn” soon after I graduated college a year ago, and I’m still not sure what to do with it. Does anyone have any stories to share about how they used it to network, find employment, help mentor those new to the working world. Thanks!
I don’t have any great info for you, but since no one else responded, I’ll give you what limited useful information I have.
One of the tips I’ve heard many people mention is getting involved in groups. That is a good way to get known and make yourself useful among other people in your field. For example, I am interested in Health Care Law, so I have joined groups for that section of my State Bar Association, as well as groups dedicated to that topic hosted by the local law schools. I try to post things that will be of interest to other practitioners, as well as answer questions when people post them. As of yet, I’ve had limited success there, but I often see that noted as a key way to use LinkedIn successfully.
Here are two things that have personally struck me as useful about the connectivity of LinkedIn:
You can see where your contacts work and changes in their work status. For example, when I am interested in a particular company, I can go to my contacts and see if I know anyone who works there. Also, just last week, I got an e-mail from LinkedIn listing my contacts’ employment changes. I was totally shocked to see an old co-worker of mine, who I’ve barely spoken to in 7 years, started working at my company! We’ve since reconnected, of course.
You can use the 2nd and 3rd level connections to make new connections at companies you are interested in. For example, I was once interested in Company A. I went to the page for Company A and it lists your connections to it. I knew no one there, so there were no 1st level connections. However, I had a 2nd level connection. I looked at this person’s profile and he knew 3 people that I knew (it turns out he went to law school at the same time as me, though never met him). I used the “request connection” function on LinkedIn asking for an introduction and a meeting for an informational interview. One of our common friends wrote a nice introduction for me - vouching for me and asking the guy to talk with me. Alas, it failed, as the guy never responded (looking back, I think that company was in significant trouble), but I like the functionality. There’s no way I could have made that connection without LinkedIn.
Well, there’s a couple ideas. I hope that helps and good luck!
Thanks! Your advice does help