What is LinkedIn? And why should you join it?
Like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc., LinkedIn is a social network, but unlike these other social networks, LinkedIn has its own unique direction as a business social network. In fact, it is the world’s largest online social network that is dedicated to business and is used by millions of professionals for professional purposes.
People use LinkedIn every day to look for new companies, apply for jobs, network and join groups. So if you are looking for a job, searching for employees or trying to build your professional contacts, being on LinkedIn is a must.
To get access to all of its benefits, you will first have to create your LinkedIn account. Creating a new account is free and very easy to do. First, navigate to the LinkedIn homepage at www.linkedin.com. You can also search for LinkedIn in Google.
In the middle of the page, there is a section that says, “Get started – it’s free”.
Go ahead and fill in the required information: enter your first name, last name, email address, and then select your LinkedIn account password. It’s a good idea to add a number and/or special character to your password to make sure that it is strong enough. Then click the “Join now” button.
Once you do that, you will be taken to another screen where LinkedIn will ask for your country and postal code, which is “optional”. Providing this information allows you to connect with companies and people in your area.
After clicking “Next”, you will select whether or not you are a student, enter your school or college name, your start year, expected year of graduation, and select whether you are over 18 year of age.
Finally click the “Create your profile” button in the bottom left-hand corner of the page.
Next, you will have to choose your primary purpose for using LinkedIn. Just for the purposes of illustration, I’ve selected “Find a job”, but you can select anything that applies to you, even if you’re not sure.
On the following screen, you will have the option to add your email so that LinkedIn can look at your contacts in Gmail. You can skip this step if you want, but it is a convenient way to automatically add some LinkedIn contacts.
The next step is confirming your email address; just click the “Go to my inbox” button:
This will take you to your inbox to confirm your account.
After that, you can choose some companies where you might want to work. You can select them all if you want to, or if you don’t want to choose any of them you can click “skip”.
Now you can choose whether you want to download the LinkedIn mobile app. If you do, you will have to choose your country and enter your phone number; if not, you can click the “skip” button (you can always download it later if you change your mind).
Finally, you will be taken to your personal LinkedIn page, where you can start building your profile.
You can add your personal photo, your current job position, your educational background, and any other personal information you like; just keep walking through the blue screens and add the desired information one field at a time.
Personally, I think everybody should be on LinkedIn, whether you are a student, a job seeker, a business owner, or even just looking for potential contacts in your field for networking purposes, you can find what you are looking for here on LinkedIn.