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How to Use LinkedIn Effectively

Explore management careers, establish relationships with potential employers, find an internship or a job: these are just a few objectives that your LinkedIn profile can help you meet. Learn how to make this essential tool work to your advantage.

Why LinkedIn?

This professional social network based on the principal of connecting and networking is greatly appreciated by management professionals. The different options allow you to build your professional reputation by using the network you developed through your involvement in various activities during the course of your studies.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool, but few know how to use it effectively. They are satisfied with creating a profile and connecting with other members on the network. To get more out of it, set some objectives!

Your profile allows you to:

  • Explore careers in management, learn more about professions, areas of specialization, activity sectors.
  • Showcase yourself and get noticed by your acquaintances and management professionals.
  • Build relationships with people who work in your area of specialization, and who are likely to help you find work in the hidden job market or to recruit you once you have completed your studies.
  • Search online for jobs with ads found on the network.
  • Learn how to interact with professionals. These lessons will prove useful throughout your studies and job search process.

Learn how to use it

Joining is free and gives you access to a limited number of functions. You must pay for the Premium version which offers a wide variety of functions.

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Step 1: Create your Profile

Your LinkedIn profile is much more than an online CV. Make sure yours highlights your potential. Follow our recommendations to help you avoid the pitfalls that can negatively impact your credibility. Consult the page Create your LinkedIn profile.

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Step 2: Get connected

  • Use the contact import function to connect with people you already know: your 1st degree contacts. Do not forget the other students in your program!
  • Use the search engine and its various functions to find new contacts.

You can connect with 2nd degree acquaintances and professionals (your indirect contacts, or the contacts of your contacts).

When you want to connect with a new contact, send him or her an invitation. Sending a personalized message is recommended.

EXAMPLE

Hello Mr.***,
I am building my network in order to exchange with professionals in [YOUR SPECIALIZATION AREA].

I find your profile interesting and would be happy to include you among my contacts.

Cordially,

  • If you are looking for work, avoid mentioning it: it is not recommended to ask for assistance without having first established contact. Furthermore, a professional will not recommend you if he or she does not know you.
  • You can contact directly the LinkedIn members of groups of which you are also a member. By joining groups such as the HEC Montréal official group and others that are connected to your professional goals, you are increasing your chances of creating new contacts.

For 3rd degree professionals, you will at times be able to contact them directly, but the rest of the time, you will have to pay a subscription to send them an InMail.

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Step 3: Make yourself visible

It is important to remain active on LinkedIn. It ensures that you get noticed, and it solidifies as well as expands your network. You can, for example:

  • Publish, comment, like and share content relating to your management specialization.
  • Enrich your contacts’ profiles by writing recommendations and by recommending their management skills.
  • Invite contacts to join LinkedIn or a discussion group connected to your professional goal or your specialization.

Discussion groups are made up of professionals who share similar interests. You can ask to join those groups that are relevant to your project. This will allow you to follow conversations and contribute to them, publish, as well as consult job offers. To learn more about these groups, visit the Careers in Management pages of your specialization: the groups are listed in the section "Get Connected".

Explore careers in management

To make informed career choices, it is important to consider all the information you have accumulated from various experiences, as well as the advice of professors. However, the most important recommendation is to get information from professionals: as it is they who are the experts in their field!

Have you read these pages from Career Development Profiles?

They include a wealth of advice and useful resources.

Know yourself well

Explore careers

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Consult profiles

Consult profiles of professionals who work in the management field that interests you and see, among other things:

  • the projects they are called to work on;
  • their duties;
  • their university profile;
  • the positions they have held since arriving on the job market;
  • their titles and certifications;
  • the companies they have worked for and the activity sectors they have evolved in.
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Get connected

Connect with profiles that interest you. Do not hesitate to do so as these people joined LinkedIn specifically because they want to interact with others who share similar interests.

In your invitation, do not hesitate to express your desire to learn more about the management field that interests you.

EXAMPLE

Hello Mrs.***,

I am building my network in order to find out about career opportunities in [THE MANAGEMENT FIELD THAT INTERESTS YOU].

I find your profile interesting and I would be happy to include you among my contacts.

Cordially,

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Exchange

A week after your new acquaintance has accepted your invitation, send him or her a message. Suggest a meeting or phone exchange – this is referred to as an information meeting.

To find out more about how to approach these professionals, consult the page Getting Information from Professionals.

Some people will be happy to accept your request, while others will be too busy to give you a favorable response: do not hesitate to approach multiple professionals.

Participate in discussion groups to get specialized information. Moreover, the most active members will likely be more open to sharing their experience.

To learn more about these groups, visit the Careers in Management pages of your specialization: the groups are listed in the section “Get Connected”.

Discover your new contacts’ contacts. Among these professionals, you will likely find some who share your interests.

Find a job (or an internship)

Managers prefer by far to recruit from among the members of their network or that of their collaborators, particularly on the hidden job market. You therefore have much to gain by using LinkedIn to connect with those people who work in your area of interest. You will also have to inform the current members of your network that you are looking for a job or an internship.

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Make sure your profile is polished

The people you contact will look at your profile. Make sure it can convince them as to the quality of your candidacy.

Do you need advice to optimize your profile? Visit the page Create your LinkedIn Profile.

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Search for new contacts and exchange

Do not be afraid to do so. Many professionals join LinkedIn, among other things, because they want to interact with potential “candidates”. You must find and approach these people so that they may offer you access to the hidden job market.

In your personalized invitation, avoid mentioning that you are looking for a job or an internship. You can do that in a next step.

EXAMPLE

Hello Mr.***,

I am building my professional network in [YOUR MANAGEMENT FIELD].

I find your profile interesting and I would be happy to include you among my contacts.

Cordially,

A week after your new acquaintance has accepted your invitation, send him or her a message. Offer to meet or to discuss over the phone.

To learn more about how to effectively approach professionals, consult the page Get Information from Professionals.

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Activate your network

You have undoubtedly already exchanged with interesting professionals in the past. It is time to re-establish contact with them using LinkedIn. These people can provide you with firsthand information and advice, put you in contact with other professionals, and inform you about opportunities for jobs or internships.

Adapt your approach to the situation:

  • You had a real exchange with this person. He or she has a good idea as to the quality of your candidacy: let the person know that you are looking for a job or an internship. Ask if there are any opportunities with the company he or she works for. If it is the case, ask if you can use his or her name in your presentation letter.
  • If your exchange was superficial: you can contact the person to let him or her know that you are looking for information. Because the person does not yet have a good idea as to the quality of your candidacy, do not directly solicit a job. If you are looking for an internship, do not hesitate to discuss it the next time you establish contact.
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Explore LinkedIn's employment features

The Web offers a plethora of tutorials that will help you use LinkedIn’s features.

Remember this if you are looking for a job

  • LinkedIn allows you to alert its members about your job search.

  • Visit the employment section of LinkedIn. You will find, among other things, job ads which match your interests, suggestions of companies which might interest you, information on salaries.
  • Explore company pages to find job offers.

Need help?

Career and Management Services offers workshops in which you will learn how to use LinkedIn effectively.

How to use LinkedIn for your job search (undergraduate level) (in French only)

How to use LinkedIn effectively (graduate level)


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