Hereward College News

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Guide to using LinkedIn

What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a social networking site specifically designed with professional business connections in mind. When you create a profile on LinkedIn you are creating a short version of your resume, showing your skills, current and past jobs, and other business ventures. Your profile on LinkedIn has many different features, and the creators of the website encourage you to fill in all of your information in order to use these features more robustly.

Why use Linkedin?

·         LinkedIn gives you the keys to controlling your online business identity. LinkedIn profiles rise to the top of search engine results, letting you control the first impression people get when searching for you online.

·         Sometimes your immediate circle can’t resolve a unique business challenge. Tools like Companies and Groups let you locate and interact with external experts through trusted introductions. LinkedIn Search lets you explore the broader network by name, title, company, location, and other keywords that will help you find the knowledge you’re looking for.

·         LinkedIn also acts as a great business connection when other people may need your services. Once your profile is completed correctly your job title will appear on the Hereward College Company page and other people can contact you through a trusted introduction. No other information except your job title will be provided before the people who are looking for you send you an introduction and you accept to connect with them (See picture).
                               
Picture 1 – how external viewers see employees on a company page
























·         In today’s professional world, people change jobs and locations constantly. By connecting on LinkedIn, your address book will never go out of date. Your contacts update their profiles, keeping you current with their latest jobs, projects and contact info. You’ll stay in closer contact with great tools to communicate and collaborate.

Setting up a complete and professional profile:

·         Go to LinkedIn.com

·         Select ‘Join Today’ from the top of the page

·         Complete the 1st frame with the relevant information and make sure you use your WORK EMAIL (staff000@hereward.ac.uk)

·         In the next frame, the following sections should already be completed: ‘I am currently’, ‘Country’ and ‘Company’. If these are not completed it means you didn’t enter your work email. If this is the case, go back and enter your work email.
If the sections are already completed, continue and enter your HOME  postcode (it will only be displayed for your trusted connections) and your job title at Hereward College

·         In the next frame, you have the option to enter your HOME EMAIL, so LinkedIn can find which of your personal contacts are on LinkedIn and you can invite them to your network on LinkedIn. If you don’t want to connect with your personal contacts on LinkedIn you can skip this step.

·         You should now receive a message to confirm your e-mail address. You have to access your WORK email and you should have received a confirmation e-mail on LinkedIn. Click on the link and you should be redirected to a page called Sign-In to Linkedin

·         Enter your WORK email and the password you selected in the first frame

·         In the next frame you have the option to invite your Facebook and Twitter friends to connect with you on LinkedIn. Remember, LinkedIn should be used only for business purposes so you might want to skip this step.

·         In the next frame you have to select the type of account you want. It’s recommended to select the basic account since you wouldn’t want to pay for it.

·         Congrats! You now have an account on LinkedIn. The next step is to start completing your profile! Go to the ‘Profile’ Tab on the top of the page and select ‘Edit Profile’

Editing your profile

·         Edit the ‘Summary’ Section by adding a short description about yourself. The Summary Section is one of the most important parts of your profile. When editing your ‘Summary Section’ you have to think about what is the best introduction for yourself for the people that might need to contact you or you might need to contact regarding business related queries.
For example, I am the contact person for advertising, marketing and PR related activities, therefore my summary includes the following information: ‘I am currently undertaking a 1 year placement at Hereward College. I am the contact person for all advertising, marketing and Public Relations activities.
One of our main focusses, at the moment, is raising awareness of the business, its aims and objectives to a local, national and international audience. If you would like to start collaboration with Hereward College please contact me on
liviu.manda@hereward.ac.uk.’
This piece of information is also extremely important if a person would try to find you via Google for business purposes. For example, because my summary contains the following words (keywords): advertising, marketing, public relations, my LinkedIn account will appear on the 1st page of Google if someone would do a search like: ‘advertising Hereward College’ or ‘marketing Hereward College’ or ‘Public Relations Hereward College’. This makes LinkedIn a great source of information when people need to contact a specific person for business purposes from a specific organisation.

·         Edit the ‘Specialities’ section by adding the skills you are currently focusing on and are using for your current job (See Skills bellow for more info).

·         Edit the experience section by adding your current job and at least two previous jobs, along with the respective responsibilities you have/had. The ‘Experience’ section is also one of the most important sections of your profile, especially your current job.
Again, when you write your responsibilities, you will have to think of the most efficient way to inform possible connections on how you can collaborate. Therefore, the content you enter for you current job should be as detailed as possible and should cover all the aspects of your job.

·         Edit the ‘Skills’ Section by adding all the skills gained through your work experience. In this section you should add ALL the skills you have, not just the ones you are focusing on at your current job (see Specialties section for more details).

·         Edit the 'Education' section by adding any education you have completed or are in the process of completing (High- school, college, university, other courses).

·         Under the heading 'Recommendations' you need to ask for recommendations from work colleagues who are also on LinkedIn. These can be current or past colleagues, or external connections you have done business with, while working within your current organisation.

·         Finally, in the photo section you need to upload a small photo of yourself. You should upload a picture that best describes you at work and should be professional (i.e. suit, uniform).

·         When you've achieved all these steps, your profile should be complete


What to do now?
Once your profile is complete you can Join the Hereward College Network:
·         Go to this link: http://www.linkedin.com/company/hereward-college and select Follow (upper-right part of the page) to follow Hereward College on Linkedin. This will include you as a company employee (see picture 1) so it will make it much easier for you to be found by the people that need to do business with you.

·         Go to this link: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?about=&gid=4093222 in order to join the Hereward College LinkedIn group. This will allow you to participate in discussions regarding Hereward College, view the latest news, promotions and jobs and network with other members from the Hereward College Group (staff, students, alumni, external business connections who are part of the group)
For further questions, please contact Liviu Manda at staff1107@hereward.ac.uk .


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