Using LinkedIn


By Stuart Esrock, Ph.D.

More and more students and professionals around the world are finding employment via LinkedIn so now when we are all locked away in our homes, it’s a great time to maximize your presence on this platform.

An assistant director at the UofL University Career Center, Karen Boston, points out that LinkedIn provides a means to reach out beyond Louisville. “Using LinkedIn is a great way for students to network with professionals across the city, country, or even the world! Whether you are interested in a career in Washington, DC or Seattle, Washington, you can make valuable connections, ask questions, and get advice from people who are working or have worked in a job that is of interest to you.”

Some students are hesitant to try to connect with professionals, thinking that they may be a bother.  But the nature of LinkedIn means participants are looking to make connections and Boston suggests students take advantage of that. “Professionals who use LinkedIn want to connect with you and share their experience and tips so be professional in your contact with them and don’t hesitate to reach out.”

And much like networking in person, LinkedIn gives students the chance to reach out beyond a single degree of separation.  Boston says, “Take advantage of your connections’ networks by asking each connection, ‘Who do you recommend that I reach out to?’”

When looking to make connections on LinkedIn, Boston advises students to seek brevity.  “Always craft a personalized invitation to connect which tells who you are, what you have in common, and why you want to connect—in 300 characters or less!”

In a future article, we’ll offer you tips on creating a strong professional presence on LinkedIn.  You can also take advantage of an upcoming virtual workshop on LinkedIn and how to best take advantage of it, on April 29 at 12 noon. And as always, your University of Louisville career centers have resources and assistance available to help you.  Connect with your career center including Speed School, College of Business, Law, and the University Career Center via this link.