I have heard it said that there are only three things that last forever: cockroaches, Twinkies, and anything posted on the Internet. Perhaps this caution, and others like it, is why some are neglecting a resource that has the potential to help them with their career, even as companies and organizations are using the Internet now more than ever before. For example, perhaps you have recently received an email from a colleague or friend requesting that you join their network on LinkedIn. As with the many other "junk" emails you receive each day, you might have ignored this request. By doing this, you may have missed an opportunity to reach companies and organizations looking for those with skills just like yours, and an opportunity to reach out to colleagues across the world.
LinkedIn is a social media, like Facebook and Twitter, but unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn is created by professionals for professionals. When you create an account and maintain a network on LinkedIn, you have access to news, conversations, connections, and opportunities that will help you to shape your own career and your profession. By engaging in LinkedIn Groups, you can talk to nurses, doctors, researchers, and health professionals from all over the world about emerging trends and cutting edge innovations. It is like going to a conference every week!
Setting up a LinkedIn account is easy, and by following the prompts, can be done in less than 20 minutes. There are no restrictions on the amount of information you can include, like on a résumé, so make sure you include all of your accomplishments and experiences you have had in college, graduate school, and beyond. Once you have registered for LinkedIn and started adding connections, you should plan to spend about an hour a week on LinkedIn checking your connection requests, reading up on new news, reading posts and adding comments in your LinkedIn Groups. Some groups are more active than others, but generally you should try to participate in conversations at least once a month.
Not just anyone can connect with you on LinkedIn. You have complete control over who sees your information and how they contact you. Each connection request requires that you know the person either as a work colleague, business associate, or classmate. If you do not know a person through one of these verifiable ways, then they will need to have your correct email address to be able to request to connect with you. After receiving a connection request, you can decline without the other party being notified.
As alumni of The University of Kansas Medical Center, you might be contacted by current students seeking information about their chosen profession, or about experiences that you have had. This is a great opportunity to mentor new graduates.
Be sure to connect with the KU and KUMC Alumni groups on LinkedIn! This is a great way to engage with the Alumni Community on LinkedIn. If you are interested in connecting with current students and answering questions or providing mentorship, contact Melissa McClung, Career Development Specialist, on LinkedIn or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.