Get LinkedIn and Get Connected

LinkedIn is the world's largest professional online network and holds a wealth of job opportunities across all industries. 
Watch this webinar and learn how you can leverage your current professional connections, gain additional connections, and make the most of this professional online job network.

Our Career Development Team covers all things LinkedIn, including: 

• What is LinkedIn? 

• Joining and building a professional profile 

• Networking etiquette 

• Using LinkedIn in your job search 

• Expanding your industry knowledge


**Note: Video has around a two-minute introduction slide.


Elizabeth: All right. Well, we will go ahead and get started. So hello everybody. My name is Elizabeth Lintelman, and I'm the Manager of Career Services at Rasmussen College Online, and I'm here along with Jason Landry, another member of the Online Career Services team. So we are very happy to have you in attendance for Rasmussen's Get LinkedIn and Get Connected webinar. So thank you for logging in.

Before we start, I'd like to get everyone acclimated with the platform that we're using today. So if you look at the right-hand side of your screen, you're going to see a control panel, and if that's not open, please click the arrow. Now if you have questions, please enter them into the question section. Jason and I are going to try to answer as many of these questions today throughout the presentation, and they also may be answered at the end during our live Q&A session or via the chat. Now, if we don't have time to get into everybody's questions, please feel free to contact your Careers Services advisor. We will also provide our email address at the end of the presentation.

If your sound is going in and out and you're having difficulty hearing me, I recommend that you put your speakers on mute and dial into the conference number. You'll find this number located under the section called "Audio."

So with that being said, let's go ahead and get started. So like I said, hello, and my name is Elizabeth Lintelman, and I am the Manager of Career Services.

Jason: And I am Jason Landry, also a member of the Career Services team for RCO, and I just wanted to thank everyone, along with Elizabeth, for joining us today and we're excited to share a little information on LinkedIn with you.

All right. Well, before we get started here, we're just going to have a little fun and take quick poll to see how many of you have LinkedIn, and if so, how often you use it. So if you take a look at the poll that's going to show up here on your screen, it's a simple question. Just, I currently have a LinkedIn account, and I check it once a day, check it a couple times a month, check it a couple of times a year, or I do not have a LinkedIn account. So if we could get you to answer the survey quickly here.

Elizabeth: Good, we have a lot of votes coming in. It's interesting to see the varied responses. We're going to keep you on your toes, make sure you're paying attention and throw a couple polls in here.

Good. So I'm going to give you just a couple more seconds to answer before I close the poll, and then I will close the poll and I'll share the results so you can see.

Good. All right. Well, we are just about done. I think almost everybody's voted, so I'm going to close the poll. Very interesting. So I'm going to share this with you, because it looks as though only about 8% check it once a day. So a quarter of you, 25%, check it a couple of times a month. 11% check it a couple of times a year, and the majority, 56% of you do not have a LinkedIn account.

So thanks for answering that question for us. It gives us a better understanding of who our audience is. We're going to make sure we tailor this presentation to you, and I'm going to turn it over to Jason to talk a little bit more about the agenda and what we are going to cover today.

Jason: All right. Thanks, Elizabeth. So we are going to cover a number of different topics today. The first one is, what is LinkedIn? We are going to talk to you a little bit about that. What its goal is by using it. After that, we're going to teach you how to join and build an account. So we're going to do a little step-by-step demonstration on how to set up an account, how to upload your resume, and then work on making your profile 100% complete.

After that Elizabeth's going to go ahead and do a live demonstration on how to actually use LinkedIn once your profile is set up, show you how to network by searching for jobs, people, companies, groups, and even specific skills. After, we will definitely recap the most important takeaways from the presentation and how to use LinkedIn most effectively and professionally for networking. At the very end, we will leave some time, as Elizabeth had mentioned before, for some question and answer time.

Elizabeth: Great. So, LinkedIn, we hear LinkedIn this, LinkedIn that, social networking, professional networking. What is it? What is LinkedIn? Well, LinkedIn is the world's largest professional social networking site, with over 100 million members. It's growing at roughly one million new LinkedIn members every week, which is the equivalent of a professional joining the site at faster than one member per second, so just exponential growth. Essentially, its goal is to connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful in their professional endeavors.

Now, notice how I said, "the world's largest." That's because it's used in over 200 countries. LinkedIn is not just a great way to display your social resume, but more importantly, it's a database of people who are sharing how they took their different paths to success. So LinkedIn is a great tool in really helping you find your inspiration and then helping you use that inspiration to generate programmatic ideas and action steps to help you get closer to where you ultimately want to be.

Jason: All right. Fantastic. So now that we know what LinkedIn is, we're going to show you how to actually join LinkedIn. So the first thing that you will actually do is go to, and, as you can see here on the slide, it's going to show that you can either sign in to LinkedIn if you already have an account, or if you look at the big red box that is circled there, it's going to show you how to join LinkedIn.

If you're going to join LinkedIn, it has some basic information that you're going to input, such as first name, last name, email, and then password, and then you can join now. So it is very important, I want to remind everyone, to make sure that you are putting in all of your accurate information. Make sure your email address is spelled correctly. This is going to be very important, because you will get email notifications as far as somebody might want to be connecting with or there might be a new discussion on the group that you joined. So it's very, very important to make sure that you are providing correct information before you get your account started.

So, how to join, just to continue on with that. As you can see here, it's going to ask you a few questions right away such as, "I am currently employed," or you can also select "Unemployed," the country that you live in, the ZIP Code, and then it can also ask you for your company and job title as well.

Elizabeth: Good. So now that we have an account, let's talk about building your profile. So, here is a screenshot of LinkedIn, and if you look at the Profile tab, this is kind of what pops up. So I'm going to draw your attention to the right-hand side of the screen, because this is, this bar, essentially shows how complete your profile is. When your profile is 100% complete, it's much more likely to get noticed. It's [inaudible 07:44] if people don't know you exist or if they can't see what you have to offer. So consider your LinkedIn profile as kind of like your online business card, your resume, and your letters of recommendation all packaged into this one nice little box.

So according to, users with 100% complete profiles are actually 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn. Now if you're thinking, "Okay. Well, that's great Elizabeth, but I don't have enough information to be 100% complete," don't worry about it. You are wrong. You're actually more experienced than you think you are. So when you're creating a profile, think really broadly about all of the experiences you have. So think about those summer jobs, unpaid internships, volunteer work, even student organizations. You just never know what might catch someone's eye. And remember, the more information you provide, the more people will find a reason to connect with you.

Now, I'm going to show an easy way to get your profile more complete. So, if you're thinking, "Well, I don't have the time to individually input my past work experience," one easy way to do that is to import your resume. Now if you're afraid or you're like, "I don't have a resume, how am I going to do that," we actually have a terrific resource for our Rasmussen College Alumni, and it's called Optimal Resume. So if you go to, this tool assist you with building a fully functional resume tailored to your field of study, which then you can save and import into your LinkedIn profile. So if we go back to the LinkedIn page, you are going to see where it says, "Import your resume." You're going to be able to easily upload your resume from the saved document that you have, and it automatically generates into your LinkedIn profile.

Jason: Perfect. Elizabeth, I did have one question. I'm fairly new to LinkedIn. I just set up my profile a little while ago, and I did notice when I uploaded my resume, specifically the way that you just described, it didn't fully upload correctly. What I mean by that is that there were some spaces, not all of the company names showed up. Is there any way to go back in there and edit that, to be able to fix it?

Elizabeth: That's a good question. So while it's a great resource, there may be some errors when it uploads. So you'll simply want to go in and edit that. So you can see I have the red box here on the Edit button. Essentially, just go back and make sure that the resume imported correctly with the correct company, the correct job title, the correct date, the correct bullet points. So it's very, very easy to edit that. Good question.

Jason: Okay. And to continue on from there, as you can see, by the red arrow, it does show that our profile right now is about 55% complete. It is pretty easy to walk through all the different categories and put your information in there to complete your profile, such as maybe adding a summary statement, adding your education, a picture, maybe some specialties that you have. However, just due to time constraints today, we're not going to go through all of those steps on how to complete it, but I did want to go over how to specifically create your personalized URL to make your profile page a little more personable and have it a little bit easier for people to be able to find you and connect with you on LinkedIn.

So if you'll look at the bottom of your screen there, at your public profile, as you can see our profile of Jane Doe, you can see JaneDoe/32/2808. So it's not very clean. It's not going to be easy to remember. What you're going to hear us talk a lot about today is being able to make sure you personalize your profile. So one reason we might have you do this, as far as your URL goes, first of all it's going to stick out to people more easily, it's going to be easier for people to remember how to find you. You can even add this to your resume, for instance, if you do have a personalized URL. You might be able to add it to business cards as well. So, as I'd mentioned, you're going to want to make sure that you can make your profile as personalized as possible.

So in order to do that, if you would like to change your URL, if you'd look at the Edit button, right next to the red arrow, and go ahead and click on that, this is going to actually bring you to what your current URL is. If you look at the box there, there is a little tab right underneath it that says, "Customize your public profile." So once you click that, it's going to bring up a box that's going to have your LinkedIn account URL profile. So as you can see here, we have it typed up as JaneJoyDoe. You're going to want to make sure that you play around with it a little bit to make sure that, obviously, that URL available to use. You're going to want to make sure that you keep it to using your name, keep it very professional, keep it personal. So you might have to play around with it a little bit. But once you do find a URL that works for you and that is acceptable, you can just set your custom URL by hitting the button below.

Elizabeth: So one thing that Jason had mentioned and we're going to talk a lot about is personalization. We're also going to talk a lot about professionalism. So while you can personalize that, we want to make sure that it's still professional. So you wouldn't want to use "accountingstudentlookingforwork" as your URL. You want to keep it with your name. So again, very simple, very professional, but also very personalized.

So let's talk about how to be profile savvy. Let's begin by talking about your education. This is really important for everybody, but particularly important for people that are changing careers or people with no experience. Whether you're currently in school or you've graduated, be sure to highlight your education. This is really important for the fact that there are a lot of people that are looking for work right now, so if you can differentiate yourself and really demonstrate your thirst for knowledge by showcasing your education, that's very, very important.

Next, accurate work history. Everything on your profile really needs to be kept up to date. So we want to make sure you have your current and previous dates displayed correctly on your LinkedIn profile. The last thing you'd want is to receive a phone call from a recruiter saying, "Hey, Jason, I see you currently work at ABC Company," and then Jason has to say, "Well, actually I don't work there any longer. I haven't worked there for six months." As a recruiter, that's a huge red flag. It almost appears as though you're trying to hide something, which might not be the case. So make sure your LinkedIn profile is accurate.

Next, use keywords. You really want to make sure your profile is chock full of keywords that will really attract a recruiter's attention. So if you're thinking about using keywords and you not quite sure where you find keywords to use, I have a couple of suggestions, one of which I'm going to talk about a little bit later in today's presentation. But some other ideas are to look at job postings. So look at positions that you're really interested in and pick out keywords from those postings. Also look at LinkedIn profiles that really appeal to you. So if you want to be a human resources director, look at profiles on LinkedIn for people who are human resources directors and look at the keywords they have listed in their profiles and use similar words in yours.

Proofread. Oftentimes LinkedIn can be a first impression, so you really want to make sure that you're getting off on the right foot. I will be honest, my friends and family can attest to this, I am a horrible speller. So before I put anything in LinkedIn, I always open up a Word document, type it in the Word document, and then transport it into my LinkedIn profile. I know it's my weakness, so I make sure that I'm really being proactive to make sure that it's proofread and it's accurate.

Lastly, always be professional. So this really starts with the first thing people see, which is going to be your picture. So make sure that it is a professional headshot. So we don't want to see you at the beach or you with your sunglasses on or you with your buddy. It needs to be just a single picture of you, and again, professional.

Email address, so Jason had mentioned, when you create your LinkedIn account, you need to use an email address. Make sure that it's professional. We know you love your kids, we know you love running, but that doesn't need to be incorporated into your email address. So make you're using one of the free services, Yahoo, HotMail, Gmail, and create a personal, professional email address to use.

Status updates. So much like Facebook and Twitter, you can have status updates in LinkedIn. You really want to make sure, again, you're putting your best foot forward and being professional. The last thing you'd want to do is post something like, "Been unemployed for six months, getting very distressed." Again, not a good profile, not a good post for your status update. You might want to say something like, "Attending a great webinar on LinkedIn today and very excited to expand my job search." So again, keeping it positive.

Lastly, asking for connections and recommendations. I'm going to let Jason talk a little bit more in detail about this, but just again, keep in mind always be personal, always be professional.

Jason: All right. Thanks, Elizabeth. So now we're going to talk a little bit about building a network. This is going to be a main focus point, as once you build that large network, you can actually start utilizing those connections to search for different jobs, people, and companies. It can take a very long time to build a large network, so the best networks usually begin with those who you know and trust and then grow based on personal referrals. So, to keep that in mind, you might want to start by searching for friends, co-workers, past managers that you might have had a good relationship. From there you can build your network through introductions and referrals as Elizabeth had mentioned. One thing that you are going to want to notice is to keep going along with the keep everything personalized is personalize everything. So when you do build connections, always customize your connection request with a friendly note on why you'd like to connect.

Below on the screen, we just have a quick example of how that might sound. "Hi, Bob. This is Jason Landry, and we worked together at ABC Company. I'm looking to expand my professional network and would appreciate an opportunity to connect." One more point to consider is you really want to make sure you're careful about who you're actually connecting with. Ultimately, if it's somebody you might not know or somebody that might have a bad reputation out there, you want to make sure that you are careful about who you connect with because ultimately it could be a reflection on yourself.

Elizabeth: Yeah. Jason, you made some really good points. I'm going to actually jump in and share a personal story. I don't tend to accept LinkedIn requests unless it's a personalized message. I really want to make sure I know who you are and the purpose behind the connection so I can make sure that we're both benefiting from that connect. I actually just received, recently, a LinkedIn request from somebody that just used the standard message, "Hi, Elizabeth. I'd like to add you to my network." To which I politely responded, "I'm sorry, I'm not sure we know each other. Can you help refresh my memory?" She said to me, she responded and said, "I'm actually a recruiter and would be interested in hiring some Rasmussen graduates." "Absolutely, would to love to connect." But if she had just said that in the initial message, I would have connected right away. So very important that you really personalize that message.

Jason: Perfect. Great example. Okay, Elizabeth. So like I had mentioned before, I'm fairly new on LinkedIn. So how do you actually, once you build those connections and build that network, how do you go about searching for jobs and even other people as well?

Elizabeth: That's a really good question. So let's briefly walk through a live demonstration where I'll search for jobs, people, companies, groups. Search for some skills. So if you bear with me here, I'm going to go live to my LinkedIn account.

So I'll pull that up for you so you can see my profile. Essentially, when you you're looking at my profile, you'll be able to see there's my picture. You can see my most recent status update was that I was very excited for our webinar today. You can see that I'm currently the Manager of Career Services. You can see my past positions, education, my recommendations, connections. So everything is right there on my profile for you to view. You can also see that it is 100% complete, which again, is so important.

Now, Jason, you had specifically asked for jobs. So there are a number of avenues you can use LinkedIn to search for jobs. However, I'm just going to show you one right now. If you go to the drop box in the upper right-hand corner, I'm going to select jobs. I'm really interested in marketing jobs, so I'm going to type in, "Marketing." I'm going to hit "Enter," and you'll be able to see all of the marketing jobs that have come up. So you'll see the job name, the company, and when it was posted.

Jason: Okay. That's great. I see that. When you actually search for jobs, it looks like it's automatically populated with jobs specifically in the Minneapolis area. That's great. But what happens if I may be trying to relocate or trying to find a position in a different city or state?

Elizabeth: Good question. So when I created my account and it asked for my ZIP Code, I put in the Minneapolis ZIP Code. That's where I live, so that's where it will automatically pull jobs for. Now, if I'm interested in relocating, I can simply go to the left-hand side of my screen and type in a different ZIP Code. So let's go back to the early 1990s with the 90201 ZIP Code, and let's look up marketing jobs in California. So when I type that in, again, you'll be able to see the name of the position, the name of the company, when it was posted, and you'll be able to see marketing jobs in California. Very easy.

Now, I'm actually going to back to the Minneapolis example, because there's one thing I really want to show you when you're looking for jobs, and again, using LinkedIn which is really about professional networking. So again, like I said, you can see the position and the company, but you can also see how many people in your network have connections at this particular company. So if I click, again, I'm going to have to click on the position. You can see Account Supervisor at Advantage Sales and Marketing. If I scroll down and I look at the right-hand side of the screen, you'll be able to see people within my network that know somebody that works there.

So, like I said, LinkedIn is really all about networking and really being able to capitalize on your connections. So if you look, like I said, at the right-hand of this screen, there are six people in my network that have connections to this company. So I'd be able to easily follow up with our shared connection. So I know Brian, Brian knows Nina. I can send Brian at note saying, "Hi, Brian, I hope you're doing well. I know it's been a while since we've spoken. I was wondering if you could connect me or get me in touch with Nina. I see that we have a shared connection, and I would love an opportunity to learn more about this position." So again networking is so important, and LinkedIn is a great tool to be able to find positions and really utilize your network to capitalize on that.

Jason: Okay, that's fantastic. Well, it looks like it's fairly easy to look for jobs in specific areas or cities and states and try to see if you have connections with them. So say that I do find a job and I do get an interview, how can I use LinkedIn to prepare myself for that interview?

Elizabeth: Good question. So let's talk about, you have an interview lined up. You know who you're interviewing with. How can you use LinkedIn to prepare yourself? So let's do a people search. Let's say for example I received a call from Rasmussen College. I'm going to be going in and interviewing with Ann Morgan. So I want to learn as much about Ann Morgan as I possibly can before going into this interview. So I'm going to type in Ann Morgan. I'm going to search for Ann Morgans within LinkedIn, and I'm going to see what comes up. So it looks like there are a lot of Ann Morgans.

Jason: Okay. So how do I know which specific Ann Morgan that I should be looking for going to my interview tomorrow?

Elizabeth: A good question. So we could go through each and every Ann Morgan profile, but that is not really a good use of our time. So let's use an advanced search, kind of like what we did for looking at jobs in different cities. We go to advanced people search. I'm going to type in Ann's name, "Ann Morgan." I know that I'm interviewing at Rasmussen College, so I'm going to type in "Rasmussen College," and then I click on Search. That should narrow down my search. So it found the Ann Morgan that I'm going to be interviewing with.

Jason: Perfect.

Elizabeth: So why am I interested in knowing more about Ann? Well, there are a couple of reasons why I should be doing my research before going into the meeting or the interview with Ann. The first reason is recruiters and hiring managers tend to like to have some sort of common ground. So by looking at Ann's profile, I'm able to see, "Hey, do we have anything in common?" So when I'm in the interview with Ann, I can say, "Hey, Ann, you know, I looked you up on LinkedIn, and I actually noticed that we have this in common." So looking at Ann's profile, just right off the top I see that we both attended the University in Minnesota. We have that in common. So when I go in and meet with Ann, I can say, "Hey, Ann, I see that you are a Golden Gopher, so am I. Did you catch the latest baseball game?" So, again, really personalizing that experience because Ann's much more likely to remember me.

Another reason why I would want to do my research on Ann before going in and meeting with her is if I'm really passionate about getting into, for example higher education, I can see her background. So what's her education? What positions did she hold prior to this that have gotten her to where she is today? Some people might have traditional backgrounds. Other people might not have traditional backgrounds. So it's very interesting to see, "Hey, what steps did they take to get to ultimately where I'd like to be?" So that's another thing that you could do when researching people.

Jason: Okay. Great.

Elizabeth: So before we go into your interview, the other area that you should do some research on is the company. So, again, if you back to our drop down box, "Search Companies," we're going to search "Rasmussen College" because that's where our interview is at. We click "Enter." We see Rasmussen College. So let's go ahead and click in Rasmussen.

Jason: Okay. So, if I'm going into an interview, what specifically am I going to want to find out about or learn about Rasmussen College before I do go in?

Elizabeth: Well, the nice thing about LinkedIn is that you can see who in your network works for that company. ,So there's Jason, everybody say, "Hi, Jason." So I can see that I'm connected to Jason who works at Rasmussen College. I can also see all the employees that are on LinkedIn that work for Rasmussen College. Again, if we scroll down, we're going to learn more about the company. So we can see when they were founded. We can also see what's going on at Rasmussen College. So we can see recent tweets. We can see recent blog posts, and again, we can incorporate this into our interview. So I see, "Unexpected Growth in Jobs in April." When I go in and interview with Ann, I can say, "Hey, Ann, I saw a recent tweet about unexpected job growth in April. How does that affect enrollment or does is affect enrollment?" So again, it really shows that I've done my research and I really have a passion for the company.

Jason: Perfect.

Elizabeth: So besides searching for companies and searching for people, there are also a lot of great other references that you can use LinkedIn for.

Jason: Okay. So what happens if, like you said, I'm not searching for a job, and maybe I just want to gain more knowledge in a specific industry or skill set? How would I go about doing that?

Elizabeth: Great. So LinkedIn doesn't only have to be used for a job search or for preparing for an interview. It can also be used for expanding your industry knowledge. So I'm just going to show you just a handful of different resources within LinkedIn. Again, we're just briefly tapping the surface with all of the resources available. So I'm just going to show you a couple.

If you go to the "More" section here and go to "Answers," what that's allowing you to do is type in questions that you might have. So maybe I have a question, "How do you break into the accounting field?' I go ahead and post that question, and then people on LinkedIn are able to answer that question for me.

Or maybe I just want to browse different categories and I want to learn more about starting up a small business. I click on this category here. I'm able to see what kind of questions have been posted and what kind of answers have been provided. So, "What's been your most effective budget friendly startup marketing project?" That was a question that was asked. You can see there are already eight answers, and that was just posted one day ago. So a really good opportunity for you to get in, network, ask your questions, and build connections.

Another great way to do that is by joining groups. So I'm going to go back up to our search bar here. I'm going to select "Groups." So let's say, again, I have a really strong passion for online marketing. I would really like to get into online marketing. It's a hobby of mine. That's what I'm really passionate

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