How PhDs Can Use LinkedIn Effectively During a Job Search

In the webinar, “How PhDs Can Use LinkedIn Effectively During a Job Search,” Anna Marie Trester, PhD shares the perks of joining LinkedIn for professional networking. Anna Marie offers workshops on language and is the founder of Career Linguist.

What is LinkedIn and Why Should I Join?

As PhDs, many of us are trained to do our networking in person, at conferences, or through our professional documents. Our CVs tend to be the document we touch up most, and our publications are what we rely on to show credibility as academic professionals. For these reasons, when PhD’s hear someone mention LinkedIn, the most common question tends to be, “What is LinkedIn and why should I join?”

For Anna, “LinkedIn is deliberately set up to catalyze serendipity . . . it’s designed to make you accidentally pop up on somebody’s screen.” However, LinkedIn is not like Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat – it is a free social networking site designed to connect its users to other like-minded professionals. LinkedIn is a leverage for career networking. This makes LinkedIn an essential tool for PhDs who want to keep their job opportunities open.

After all, academia is not just about what you know – it’s about who you know, too.

How Does LinkedIn Work and How do I Use It?

Every user has the opportunity to set up a professional profile. Think of your profile as a living CV or resume: it is an online space for you to add your professional summary, experiences, accomplishments, and career goals. However, a more meaningful question Anna Marie poses for PhDs to consider is, “How can you use [LinkedIn] to catalyze momentum for you?” Her answer is simple enough: you have to be “doing things.” While LinkedIn is for social networking, you want to use it to optimize responses that are most beneficial for your career goals.

The best way to use LinkedIn is to include targeted keywords in your interactions that match your desired career. Your profile, updates, articles, group conversations, and messages should all incorporate industry terms and resources specific to your field. Tailoring these parts of LinkedIn with relevant information attracts recruiters that you want.

Show What You Know

LinkedIn is also a place where you can showcase your expertise by establishing yourself as a resource. It offers PhDs an outlet to share their knowledge. Anna Marie points out that LinkedIn has an articles feature, which allows PhDs to blog or publish some of their work. However, she does caution PhDs to be conscious about what they share. She states that, “Sharing good, helpful, rich resources is part of the way you show that you’re a good citizen on LinkedIn.” Because connections happen based on what you share, link, publish, and like, be sure your information is professionally relevant before you post.

If you would like to get more professional development tips for PhDs, feel free to rent this video and others at Beyond the Professoriate.

Beyond the Professoriate Community Members attend events like this for free each month and access replays free for two weeks. Ready to launch your next great career? Join the Online Career Hub for PhDs.

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