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UMGC Career Connection
Leveraging LinkedIn to Advance your Career 

Raelynn Grasso
By Raelynn Grasso

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking website. It can be used to expand your network, to find internships or employment, or to build and strengthen professional relationships. Additionally, a LinkedIn profile can be used to connect people with job opportunities.  

Who should use LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is available to anyone looking to build professional relationships and advance their career. Profiles on LinkedIn range from college students, job seekers, and professionals, to small businesses, nonprofits, and large corporations. A benefit of LinkedIn is the ability to network with professionals across industries that extend beyond one’s current field and the opportunity to make connections around the world. 

Getting started on LinkedIn

A complete LinkedIn profile summarizes your professional experience to your connections, current and future employers, and recruiters. You can also use your profile to showcase skills, interests, and professional milestones. The sections that comprise your LinkedIn profile include your demographic information (e.g., name, profile, professional photo, headline, current position, and education), experience, education, licenses & certifications, languages, organizations, and more.  

Build your Network and Engage on LinkedIn

After creating your profile, a good place to start building your LinkedIn network is to add family, friends, or current coworkers. Research companies and industries of interest and follow them to stay current with their news and industry trends. Participate in conversations on LinkedIn by commenting on posts and articles you read, and react to comments and posts using LinkedIn reactions to easily communicate and interact with your network. 

Using LinkedIn to find a Job

Within LinkedIn you can apply directly to open positions, save job searches, and notify your connections and recruiters that you are open to job opportunities. Be sure to keep your profile up to date, highlight your current experience, and include relevant skills and objectives. Utilize the “Jobs” tab within LinkedIn to find recommended jobs and suggested job searches. 

LinkedIn can be used to build your personal brand and market yourself, but also has multiple uses beyond networking and seeking employment opportunities. Users can cultivate relationships by creating or joining LinkedIn Groups to connect with members who share similar interests, experiences, or aspirations. As the largest professional networking website, LinkedIn provides a universal way for people all over the world to connect, share ideas, and develop a global professional synergy. 

Raelynn F. Grasso is a Career Advising Specialist at the University of Maryland Global Campus. She has experience leading and providing individual, group, and career counseling, as well as executing and developing programs to enhance college student enrichment. Ms. Grasso’s area of research includes career decision-making, epistemic cognition, self-efficacy, and college student development. She holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Utah, an M.S. and a PhD in Educational Psychology, both from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.