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Getting Started on LinkedIn LinkedIn is a great resource for alumni looking for an additional edge as they network and job search. It's easy to sign up for an account, but new users often get stuck asking "what next"? Simply having an account isn't enough, so here are a few tips for students on getting started with LinkedIn:
Make Connections. If you can build a decent-size network on LinkedIn, all the other features will work much better! The first thing you should do is import contacts from your address book or webmail account by clicking on Imported Contacts along the left side under Contacts.
LinkedIn automatically selects all of the imported contacts, so first you should uncheck the Select All box. Now take a look through the list for people marked with the blue In logo to the right of their name (this means they're already on LinkedIn), and select the ones you want to connect with. Good choices are fellow students from class/activities, former co-workers and supervisors, or close family friends. You can also search by graduating class and company, for those peers/colleagues for which you do not have their email address.
Join Relevant Groups. Groups are a great way to expand your network even further. Join UCSB Alumni related groups. Once you join the UCSB Alumni Association Linkedin group you can also request access to its sub-groups such as Bary Area, San Diego area, etc. groups. Next, try seeking out a group related to your chosen industry. Some great examples are Public Relations and Communications Professionals, Sports Industry Network, and Consultants Network. Joining relevant groups will allow you to view and participate in discussions with industry professionals, as well as allow you to get closer to connecting to all of the members that are already a part of that group.
Use the Question and Answers Section. The Answers tool is a great opportunity to get more exposure to potential recruiters and mentors from your field. Ask questions within your area of interest -- "What is one important skill to develop as a I look into to break into the ____________ industry?" and "What are some of the up and coming issues in the ____________ field that a professional should familiarize him/herself with?" are a couple examples. Additionally, recruiters often ask questions within the "Career and Education" section, looking for responses from current job/internship seekers. This is a great opportunity to provide information rather than just asking questions; particularly insightful answers may be chosen by the person posing the question as a best answer, which shows up on your profile for potential recruiters to see!
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