For any career-minded college student or recent grad, having a profile on LinkedIn is basically expected in order to stay ahead of the game and network with peers, companies, and other professionals. As a member of this 65 million person network, not only do you get to shamelessly market yourself for the entire world to see, but you are able to stay on the radar of recruiters for potential job opportunities, something no unemployed recent grad can afford to pass up.
There is no question that LinkedIn is a great tool for promoting yourself and garnering invaluable professional contacts, but the same reason LinkedIn is so great is what makes it so scary to use. Unlike Facebook, with its more carefree and social atmosphere, on LinkedIn you are potentially connecting with your employer, your professors, and other contacts you typically would not want perusing your Facebook profile and having access to your personal information.
While it is pretty easy to figure out the basics of LinkedIn, the specifics of how exactly you should utilize LinkedIn’s functions and figuring out what is appropriate and what is not can be tricky.
Neal Schaffer, author of Windmill Networking: Understanding, Leveraging & Maximizing LinkedIn, is pretty much Her Campus’s go-to guy when it comes to learning about LinkedIn, having sat down with Her Campus contributing writer Betty Jin earlier this year to discuss almost everything there is to know about the site. In this article, Neal shares what exactly is acceptable on LinkedIn when inviting people to connect, asking for recommendations, and posting status updates. With his advice, next time you get that queasy feeling in your stomach when you go to connect with your boss on LinkedIn, you can breathe a little easier knowing that you are acting just as any professional should.