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Article: How Do I Get Started / Use LinkedIn?

February 22nd, 2010

Some people may not be aware of how to use LinkedIn, or why they should use LinkedIn.

LinkedIn® is located at http://www.linkedin.com. The help section on their website is good, but you can spend a lot of time reading the help system to get a handle on why you should use LinkedIn, or the best way to use it.

Although I have spent time reviewing LinkedIn and many websites, blogs and articles about why and how LinkedIn should be used, I realize that everyone has a different style and reason for using LinkedIn. So, I am going to provide a number of resources for people to read/review in order to best use LinkedIn the way they wish.

One piece of advice that I would use that is not emphasized enough, is that you should use a personal email address as your main email address/login account. The main reason you do not wish your only/primary email address to be a company-supplied email address is that you never know when you will lose access to that email account. If you lose your job, you may not get a chance to change your LinkedIn account. If you need to, set up a personal/free account (use gmail, hotmail or yahoo), and use that as your LinkedIn signin account. If your primary email account on LinkedIn is a work account, change it as soon as possible.


LinkedIn for Dummies. This is an actual book (not a website) written by Joel Elad. This will give you a good overview of the LinkedIn service. Note that the pictures of the interface are old, as LinkedIn is changing constantly and has added a few features since the book was published, but this is a good introduction, whether you read it before you sign up / use LinkedIn, or use it as a tutorial. This book is widely available, even at the library. To view the “Cheat Sheet” from the book, check out this link (http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/linkedin-for-dummies-cheat-sheet.html).

How LinkedIn Works (http://computer.howstuffworks.com/internet/social-networking/networks/linkedin.htm) This website is a good tutorial website that outlines all of the different ways and reasons to use LinkedIn. If you wish to understand LinkedIn without signing up for it, this is a good resource.

LinkedIn Quick Start Tutorial by Patrick O’Malley (http://www.patrickomalley.com/linkedin-quick-start-tutorial.html). This is a blog article designed to get you started on LinkedIn within 15 minutes — a good article to use if you just want to get started as quickly as possible, and then learn as you go along.

I’m On LinkedIn – Now What??? (http://imonlinkedinnowwhat.com). This is both a blog and a book/DVD, written by Jason Alba. The blog is on a website, promoting Jason Alba’s books and services, but if you start at the oldest articles and read through to the newer articles, you will get good strategies for using LinkedIn.

The LinkedIn Personal Trainer (http://www.linkedinpersonaltrainer.com). Similar to the previous resource, this is a blog by the author of a tutorial book on LinkedIn. The blog has a number of interesting tips/items for you and you should start at the oldest articles and read through to the newer articles on this blog as well.

Additional Resources:

Here is an article addressing the concerns of people who are currently working and may not wish their network or their current bosses to think that a LinkedIn profile automatically means they are looking for a job (LinkedIn can be a very useful tool for your current job and your current employer, if used properly): LinkedIn: Tips to Manage Employer Risk (http://www.boldcareer.com/blog/2008/7/7/linkedin-tips-to-manage-employer-risk.html).

LinkedIn Intelligence (http://www.linkedintelligence.com/) is an additional blog where you can get further information. There are numerous articles/opinions on using LinkedIn such as (http://designresumes.com/blog/2009/09/linkedin-or-linkedout/), (http://www.linkedintelligence.com/smart-ways-to-use-linkedin/). Explore, there is plenty of information out there.

LinkedIn has their own blog (http://blog.linkedin.com/), where new features and uses of LinkedIn are discussed. This is interesting to see the information behind the scenes.

As I come across useful articles on using LinkedIn for Career Management, I will post them onJobseekers.

If you have any questions, please contact , and I will do my best to assist.

Good luck .

Eric Finegan (courtesy of finegan.info)
Placement Chair

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