Expanding Your Network with LinkedIn

It’s 2019 which means that just about everyone has a social media profile. Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat, we all want to stay connected and keep up-to-date on what’s happening in one another’s lives. But did you know that there’s a way to stay connected not only in the social world but professionally as well? That’s what the professional networking site, LinkedIn, is all about. Whether it’s keeping up on current news in a particular industry, searching for jobs, or connecting with other professionals and organizations in your community and across the globe – it offers a little something for everyone.

LinkedIn is meant to be a professional networking site and it allows you to do just that – network! While you can still share cool posts and articles you find and status updates just like on Facebook, you might find that these posts or updates are more related to the professional side of life – work, volunteering, hiring/firing, networking, questions/answers, etc. But that doesn’t even come close to what LinkedIn can offer. Other ways to use LinkedIn include:

  • Connecting/Networking with other professionals in your community/industry/organization
  • Finding job opportunities
  • Finding potential employees for job opportunities
  • Keeping up-to-date on company news
  • Advertising
  • Giving/Receiving recommendations and/or endorsements
  • Growing your company/organization/personal brand
  • Discussing ideas

So how do you get started on LinkedIn? You can sign up on their website at LinkedIn.com. Once you’ve done this, you can create a profile to let people know who you are. You have the option of putting as much or as little on your profile as you’d like. Many people choose to put their work or volunteer history and any education they may have. Think of this as a small snippet of your resume – though you do have the option to create a full resume if you’d like. Again, this will depend on what you want to use the site for. Once you’ve created a profile, you can start connecting with others in your industry, other members of the Junior League, or even professionals in some of the businesses and organizations that you admire.

Having the option to follow the companies, organizations or people you are interested in truly allows you to stay engaged and in the know. Not to mention, it could open up some doors that you wouldn’t have known about otherwise. Many companies and organizations will even post updates on their company’s growth, team promotions, etc. If you’re interested in discussing different ideas or learning about a particular topic, LinkedIn offers a wide variety of groups to join as well. Say you’re interested in non-profits. If you search non-profit groups in LinkedIn, you will find a plethora of options where people share insight on different topics such as marketing and grant writing. You can even ask questions and get answers from professionals just like yourself!

The Junior League of Billings is just really getting started on using LinkedIn to share our mission with the community. Just like our Facebook and Instagram pages, we hope to share our events and grow our brand by giving everyone a taste of what the JLB is all about. If you’re new to LinkedIn or looking to get started and have questions about how to best utilize the site, please feel free to reach out to the JLB Communications team for assistance. And don’t forget to follow the JLB once you’re there!

By Junior Leauge of Billings Executive Secretary and Communications Council Member, Kelsey Bryson

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