Joining LinkedIn is a great way to start, or continue, building your professional network. Use LinkedIn to network with alumni and individuals in your field of interest, research organizations, and learn about opportunities.
What is it?
Think Facebook, but for professional networking. LinkedIn allows you to search for and connect with diverse groups of people (alumni, peers, faculty, recruiters, employers, previous supervisors and colleagues, etc.) who can provide you with insights and information you wouldn't get from from an organization's website.
Why should I use it?
Want to know what it's like to work as a Software Developer at Google? Or, a Mechanical Engineer at Lockheed Martin? Or, a Materials Engineer at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company?
Want to know what qualities and skills Tesla looks for in potential hires? Wondering if you should accept a role with a start-up vs. a more established company, or take a business vs. technical role right out of college, but not sure how it will impact your future job prospects?
LinkedIn can help you answer all these pressing questions, and more! It provides a platform to easily search and identify people who can provide valuable career and industry information for exploration, planning, and job searching. After all, the people who are best equipped to tell you what it's like to work in a particular role or organization, or take a specific career path, are the those who are doing it, or have done it.
How do I use it?
Step One: Create a Stellar Profile
Refer to LinkedIn's Building a Great Student Profile (pdf) and Profile Checklist (pdf) for tips on how to create a profile that showcases your interests, skills, and experience. Looking for inspiration? View profiles of students or alumni who are working in your field of interest to see what they highlight and include on their profiles.
Step Two: Grow Your Network
Start networking! View LinkedIn's How to Network on LinkedIn (pdf) for suggestions on how to connect with individuals you already know, craft customized invitations to those you don't, and join groups to make new connections.
Search on Cornell University's LinkedIn page to view profiles of alumni and current students who can share their experiences and career advice with you. Type "Cornell University" in the search box on LinkedIn's homepage and select it from the list. On the next screen, select "see alumni." You can filter your search by keywords, title, company, geographic location, academic major, and more.