A NooBie’s Guide to LinkedIn

*Doesn’t matter whether currently you are looking for an internship or not, if you have just stepped into corporate world or about to in near future, and don’t have a LinkedIn account yet; this could be useful!*

Rajeev is a lucky guy.

After messing up high time with his IIT-JEE paper, all Rajeev could settle with was a not-too-well-known private Engineering college in the suburbs of Kolkata, through his state JEE. Rajeev has been a studious guy through out his student life, and took this development rather as a setback in his life. He knew from that point onwards he was on his own, expecting little help and guidance from his college.

Rajeev took his guard, made his presence felt in the various social media platforms, made new and influential friends, and voila, in no time, the next summer found Rajeev in an Australian University, interning on Cryptography, the subject closest to his heart. He still mentions that it was through LinkedIn that he got the internship offer.

Now, many of you may start frowning, scratching your head with mad desperation, and scrambling for the answer as to how LinkedIn, the ‘just another social media platform’ to most, can help Rajeev grab the opportunity which most of us would have loved to be a part of.

Here comes the deal. Make a note: LinkedIn is not ‘just another social media platform’. It’s not like, being on LinkedIn, you will be wasting the miniscule time you save for studies after hours of slogging on Facebook.

So, what is LinkedIn?

Simply put, LinkedIn is a network of professionals. While Twitter emhasizes on latest activities of the user, Facebook connects him to his friends from all over the world; LinkedIn helps one to create a professional circle among his peers, and also outside.

Why should one join?

To create a professional circle among peers, and also outside’ does not the above sentence read? But, LinkedIn is not restricted to just creating a circle among your peers at office. Does it not sound like almost another Facebook, just a serious one? The answer is a Yes and a No. Yes because like Facebook, LinkedIn is also a network. No because the kind of people you network with on LinkedIn, the aspects of profile that you stress upon, and the ultimate utility of the network are very different than Facebook. We all have a personal life and a professional life and like to keep them separate. LinkedIn is a platform to manage the later.

Moreover LinkedIn is a more acceptable place to approach strangers with a request for professional help. The company HR that you have been sending messages on Facebook/Email is more likely to pay heed to what you have to say on LinkedIn. Similarly finding contacts in a company/ university, or to do an academic/professional background research on an individual, or to see who in your professional network can connect you with the relevant person is LOT easier on LinkedIn because it is built that way.

For recruiters also searching for an employee or an intern on the basis of their technical and professional skills, educational background is not possible on any other social media platform and LinkedIn fills that gap. Not many students yet understand the real power of LinkeIn so start early and grab yourself an early mover’s advantage.

What is a LinkedIn group?

Among the many interesting features of LinkedIn, a ‘Group’ is where similar minded users meet each other. When Rajeev was looking for an internship abroad, he joined as many as five internship related groups. He was surprised to find that these groups used to have regular updates on various internship opportunities posted by the recruiters from all over the world and also a community of fellow students who were always ready to help each other. One such internship announcement stuck chord with Rajeev. It was just what he was looking for. And now, he can’t thank enough that he grabbed the opportunity at the very first go.

With all the benefits of a LinkedIn presence, it was difficult for Internshala also to stay away from it. We are happy to announce setting up of a LinkedIn group for Internshala, to post interesting internship opportunities and carry on the meaningful conversations everyday. The group link: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Internships-Interns-India-3932887

We invite you all to join the group and fulfill your dreams of having that meaningful internship you always wanted. And if you struggle to find your way around when you first join, we promise we would be around to help. Watch this space for more!

The article has been contributed by Bastab Chakraborty, himself an intern with Internshala. He can be reached on bastab@internshala.com

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4 thoughts on “A NooBie’s Guide to LinkedIn

  • November 22, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Hi Sarvesh,

    I have just signed up LinkedIn a year ago almost with no purpose. Now I feel as you said, its a great community for getting internships.

    My question to you is, Should I accept connection requests from unknown professionals ?

    How should I develop my professional circle ? Should I only send connection requests to people because I know them by person..

    I hope you understood what I am facing with. Could you please help my in this line.

    Reply
    • November 24, 2011 at 12:18 PM

      Good question. I’d suggest that before accepting a connection request, understand from them why they want to connect (usually either they would write in their intro mail to you or you could send them a message post receiving the request). And if you are interested in the business they have with you, you could connect. Like any other social network, on LinkedIn also be careful of whom you let in your network because it defines who you are as well.

      Regarding developing professional contacts, again research a potential connection and explain in your joining request why you want to connect. You can send requests to complete strangers as well but the requests should be VERY relevant.

      Hope this helps. Liked Internshala on facebook yet?

      Thanks
      Sarvesh
      http://www.internshala.com
      LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=3932887

      Reply
  • November 22, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    I got a couple of requests from unknown professionals [ not related to my field ]… So, I am worried whether to reject or accept.

    Reply
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