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Making Connections with LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the largest social media site dedicated solely to professional networking and is a great tool for expanding your professional network. Learn how to get started using LinkedIn in your job search.

LinkedIn can help you expand your professional network. Use LinkedIn to help you identify job opportunities and connect to potential employers before you move and during your job search.

LinkedIn allows you to build and maintain a group of contacts. To create an account on the LinkedIn website, enter your basic information and follow the step-by-step process for account setup.

Build your profile

The LinkedIn Professional Profile sums up your skills, work and volunteer history, recommendations and special accomplishments. Like your resume, your profile should be polished and perfect. Don't forget to include a professional picture and the personal summary. It is your chance to wow your audience up front. LinkedIn lets you add skills and expertise that your LinkedIn network can endorse. Provide complete, accurate and up-to-date professional information. Learn more at the LinkedIn Profile Overview.

Grow your network

Add your current network. LinkedIn allows you to add connections by importing contacts from your email accounts. You can also add other people you may know through the search function. Search by people, companies and groups such as the MSEP company page and military spouse group. The more connections you make, the larger your secondary network will grow.

Follow up. Contact the people you meet at conferences, events and social gatherings and connect with them on LinkedIn. Use the messaging feature to reach out and develop new professional relationships over time.

Ask for introductions and introduce yourself. To connect with someone you have never met, first check to see if you have mutual connections. If you do, consider asking your connection for an introduction. If you want to connect directly with someone you do not know, such as a hiring manager, send a clear, customized and detailed request for a connection.

Maintain an active presence. Successful LinkedIn users spend time every day looking for new connections, reaching out to contacts and participating in conversations.

Keep your status updated. Use short posts to share ideas, opinions and links with your connections.

Join groups. LinkedIn has over a million groups. Find and join groups such as alumni groups or groups applicable to your career field or another field of interest. By joining a group, you are opening the door to additional connections. Be sure to join the MSEP Spouse Group to connect directly with other military spouses and MSEP companies and organizations.

Search for jobs. You can target your job search by company, career field or by geographic area. Don't forget to check out MSEP's company page for highlighted jobs from MSEP partners.

Upgrade to LinkedIn Premium. Military spouses moving due to a PCS or within six months of separation from the military now have access to a one-year upgrade to LinkedIn Premium at no cost. Register today for cutting edge tools and resources to help you build your network and career.

Additional resources

The LinkedIn Help Center addresses frequently asked questions and provides information on LinkedIn features. You can also access helpful video tutorials and no-cost webinars, such as the Beginner's Guide to LinkedIn tutorial, developed by users and LinkedIn staff.

LinkedIn is a good resource to add to your job seeking tools. Build a professional profile, connect with contacts, join groups and expand your network to find job opportunities.

Visit the Networking section of MySECO for more tips on how to use social networking in your job search. Career coaches can also answer questions and provide more job search tips at 800-342-9647.

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