LinkedIn is a great way to network with alumni, other students and individuals in your field. Here are some tips on networking, straight from the people at LinkedIn:

  • 100% complete = 40x more opportunities. Building connections starts with people seeing all you have to offer. Members with complete profiles are 40x more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn.
  • You're more experienced than you think. Think broadly about all your experience, including summer jobs, unpaid internships, volunteer work and student organization involvement. You never know what might catch someone's eye.
  • Use your inbox. Networking doesn't mean reaching out cold to strangers. Start building your LinkedIn network by uploading your online address book (from your email account) and connecting to people you know and trust.
  • Get personal. As you build your connections, customize your requests with a friendly note and, if necessary, a reminder of where you met, who introduced you or what organization you have in common.
  • Join the "In" crowd. LinkedIn Groups can help you form new connections. Start with your school groups and reach out to alumni (they love to connect with students). Find volunteer organizations and associations you belong to.
  • Lend a (virtual) hand. As you build connections, think about how you can support others. Comment on a classmate's status update or forward a job listing to a friend - your generosity will be returned.
  • Update your status early and often. Networking isn't just about who you know; it's about who knows you. Stay on your network's radar by updating your LinkedIn status regularly - what you're reading, working on and more.
  • Request informational interviews. As a student, don't ask professional contacts for a job. Instead, as for a brief phone conversation to seek their job search advice. Alumni, family friends and industry leaders are often willing to do so.
  • Do your homework. Before an informational interview, a formal interview or a networking event, use LinkedIn's Advanced Search and Company Pages to learn about the background and interests of the people you're meeting.
  • Step away from the computer! Support your online networking with a real human touch. Set up calls, attend live events and send snail mail notes to people you interact with on LinkedIn.