LinkedIn: Your Link to the Business World

170
Flickr.com Creating Commons

Most people hop onto their computer immediately after waking up, mug of coffee in hand, to start one of their many social media check-ins to see what is going on in the world around them. Professionals, however, have a different style of rising in the morning. Instead of checking updates on Facebook, they check for updates on LinkedIn: their link to the business world.

LinkedIn launched in 2003 and has been the number one source for people to find jobs and build their network. LinkedIn can be considered the Facebook for professionals. Replace swimsuits for business suits, and photo album for portfolios, and you have your very own LinkedIn profile.

With LinkedIn, you can find what skills and assets are popular for certain positions and professions. Beyond that, LinkedIn has a sub-site called LinkedIn Learning which teaches valuable skills in networking and etiquette. The “Twitter feed” aspect can be used to find the many trends and interests that businesses find themselves in. Take advantage of these by learning how to get involved in business culture.

Students and young professionals can find LinkedIn to be a wonderful resource. It is an entrance into the lobby of the skyscraper known as business, and will help you get to the top with its tools. Having a well-made LinkedIn account will give young professionals a head start compared to their peers. A LinkedIn profile shows initiative while also serving to put yourself out there. Job recruiters will find your profile and view your skill sets, experience, and qualifications. This helps them determine if you would be right for the job.

In addition, you can make contacts with other professionals in your area. It would be inappropriate to add your professor on Facebook, but it would be completely fine to make a connection with him/her on LinkedIn. If you are looking to start a business or link up with other businesses, then you can find and connect with these like-minded professionals on LinkedIn.

Get started with LinkedIn and make yourself a profile. Add some contacts you already know, and use a professional profile picture. Make sure to smile! Add your skills, portfolios, and interests to give other users an idea of who you are.

Your profile allows you to make connections with new people you meet, such as your professors. Remember to exchange accounts with potential partners. Exchange profile information just as you would exchange business cards. Make yourself known – contact others on LinkedIn who you have a vested interest in, and give them an opportunity to get to know you.

Remember: be ambitious, perceptive, and professional. Apply these virtues, and you can go far.