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Using LinkedIn for Your Non-Academic Career

By Anne Poduska

In my last column, I talked about the importance of understanding yourself, as it provides the essential focus for your career research project.

If you’ve done this self-assessment and are now interested in gathering information about potential careers, jobs, or organizations, one of the most effective (and free) resources is LinkedIn.  Here are a few tips to successfully navigate LinkedIn:

Develop Your Profile

If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile or would like tips on improving it, review these 10 tips and 22 secrets

Search for Alumni

Are you interested in seeing which Cornell alumni conduct research in the Boston area—or those alumni who studied linguistics and now are consultants?

If so, when you’re in your LinkedIn profile, click on the Connections > Find Alumni tab.  You can search for alumni based on where they live and work, what they studied and what they’re skilled at—or you can search by any keyword of your choice.  This is a great way to identify job titles, companies, or individuals to speak with for an informational interview.

Learn About Companies

Under the Interests > Companies tab, type in the name of an organization to see company updates, active job postings, and LinkedIn profiles for current employees.  If you’re wondering what type of work experience helped individuals secure a job at the organization, use the “Past Company” filter to see where people worked previously.  If you’re interested in finding other organizations in the same field, see the “People Also Viewed” section on the company’s LinkedIn page.

Anne Poduska, Graduate & International Student Career Advisor

Join A Group

Are you interested in learning about a new career field?  Are you frustrated by how few LinkedIn connections you have?

If so, consider joining more LinkedIn groups.  You can join up to 50 groups and you can opt to have your group membership invisible on your profile.  Be sure to browse others’ LinkedIn profiles to find groups of interest and to join Cornell-specific groups, such as the Cornell University Graduate School Networking group, the Cornell Alumni Network group, or Cornell University Job Connection group.  Keep in mind that some groups are open to anyone and others are private and require approval by the group administrator. 

Happy networking!