Monthly Archives: September 2014

Doing more with LinkedIn

Recently, I’ve noticed that more and more researchers and students are joining LinkedIn. I say ‘joining LinkedIn’ rather than ‘using LinkedIn’, since many say that they’re on it, but they’re not actually doing anything with it. This may be the same for you. You may have been advised to get on LinkedIn in case you miss out on anything – in fact, one of my previous blogs “Get Linked In!”does just that – but then nothing happens. So, it occurred to me I could give you some further help to get more out of this social media platform, by giving you a few more insights into its functions. Take note however, that I’m no expert and my suggestions are limited to my own experience of using it. So here goes:
Use the groups. There are thousands of groups on LinkedIn covering a wide range of subjects. You can join any number of them – some are closed, some are open. Search for groups relevant to your subject discipline and career interests, where you’ll see discussions to which you can also contribute, as well as starting your own. You can even set up your own group. Three groups which are dedicated to helping PhD students and researchers are:
c)    CARE– Careers Advisers supporting Researchers in Europe (and beyond)
Use it for research purposes You can research companies on LinkedIn. It’s especially useful to find out about small companies, which are not well known. You can search by specific countries or regions, and even search according to the number of employees in the company. You can also look for people in careers of interest to you. It’s useful to see their background and education to give you an idea of what you can do to enhance your own skills and experience.
Use it to contact people Taking things a bit further, you can use LinkedIn to connect and then contact people to ask them about their work. You need to approach them politely and diplomatically, since they don’t know you personally. However, if they’ve agreed to link with you, people tend to be more amenable to being asked for a job information interview.

When you’re ready to apply for positions, you can sign up for job alerts and actively look for positions being posted by companies and in groups. Many organisations are using social media as their primary place to advertise their jobs, so consider others such as Twitter (using the #) and relevant professional Facebook sites to enhance your search.