How To Use LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great website to help you network easily with those who are not in Boone, NC. These can be past employers or internship supervisors, people from your hometown, or professionals in the industry you are interested in. Here is how we recommend you use LinkedIn.
Complete your profile. Log into LinkedIn and follow the step-by-step instructions to building your profile before trying to connect with people. You will want to pay close attention to your summary, experience, and education. Make sure that it speaks to what kind of work you are interested in doing. List relevant transferable skills, courses or projects, volunteer opportunities, conferences or presentations, and honors or awards. You can also get a professional headshot done at the Career Development Center if you would like one for your profile picture.
Grow your network. Start with people you already know – like family, friends, and faculty – then move onto past supervisors and those in your community. You do not have to stick to just people in your industry, as you never know who knows someone that might have the perfect opportunity for you! After you have made these connections, start to search for specific people in your industry that you want to connect with. Perhaps they are people who work in HR at a company you are interested in or a recruiter you met at a career fair. You can also search for Appalachian State alumni and connect with them. Make sure you always add a note when connecting with people – especially those you do not know. You have 300 characters to introduce yourself and state why you are interested in connecting with them. Here are two examples:
Good Morning, I am a current PR major at Appalachian State and am interested in opportunities in Atlanta after graduation. I would like to add you to my network. Thank you.
Hello! I met you at the Appalachian State career fair and would like to follow up with you regarding the programmer position at your company. I look forward to connecting with you and chatting in the future. Thank you.
Join groups. Connect with different groups in areas that interest you or are industry specific and follow companies that you want to know more about. This will lead to a more robust landing page when you sign in and you will feel like you have more to talk about or share with your network. Remember, the more active you are on LinkedIn, the more you will show up in others feeds, so share articles you are reading or comment on what other people are sharing. You will really stand out online if you are an active participant in the discussion.