If you are a fairly typical graduate, you’re used to using the internet and the various social media sites. You understand the online world. You have probably grown up using the internet. You understand the internet and you know your way around. This means that a graduate’s guide to LinkedIn is going to be a bit different for you from the type of guide that others might need.
However, you – like every one else – need to learn how to use LinkedIn effectively and to think carefully before you become active on LinkedIn. Just because you are familiar with the technology, and know you can work out how to upload material to LinkedIn without help, don’t rush in.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional online network. That makes it a bit different from some of the other sites you may have been using.
Whenever you think about LinkedIn, you need to focus on the word professional. Remembering that LinkedIn is essentially a community of professionals is important to your understanding of the platform and how to make the most of it.
It is not just another social site. LinkedIn is the site that could help you to advance your career.
The Graduate’s Guide To LinkedIn – Before You Begin
Probably one of the most important things to note, when you first sign up for LinkedIn, is that LinkedIn is not Facebook. People are thinking about different things when they are on Facebook from what they are thinking about when they are using LinkedIn. Note this because it means you should be aware of the difference when you are using LinkedIn, too.
The best advice for using LinkedIn is to be professional at all times.
Socialise with your friends on other online platforms. Interact with your peers, prospective employers and your professional community on LinkedIn in a professional and businesslike way.
The Graduate’s Guide To LinkedIn – The Right Frame Of Mind
LinkedIn is not the place for chit-chat. You need to get into the right frame of mind to use LinkedIn effectively.
Be formal – just as you would be formal in an interview.
Be professional – just as you would be professional at work.
Avoid frivolity – You are not on LinkedIn primarily to have fun so avoid the temptation to fool around.
When you are using LinkedIn behave as if you were at work and in the presence of more senior and more experienced people than yourself.
A Graduate’s Guide To Success On LinkedIn
If you are tempted to ask why you need to be so careful about how you behave on LinkedIn, remember that there are 238 million users worldwide (August 2013)
- High-powered jobs are advertised on LinkedIn. That means people looking for high-powered jobs are on LinkedIn, too.
- Professional people value LinkedIn as a means of progressing their careers. The more senior the person, the more likely he or she is to use LinkedIn.
- 42% of LinkedIn’s users update their profiles regularly. This means they think the site is useful.
- 35% of LinkedIn’s users access the site daily.
- 10 million endorsements are given every day.
What does this mean to a graduate just starting out with LinkedIn?
It means you should plan very carefully how you intend to use LinkedIn to advance your career. Read the second article in this series: The Graduate’s Guide To LinkedIn to help you begin to think about your LinkedIn profile.