I’ve used LinkedIn for several years, and it’s one of the sites I go to every day.
As a college professor, my favorite feature is simply reading through the Notifications to see what my former students are up to. If one of them is starting a new job, has gotten a promotion, or is going back to grad school, I usually try to reach out with a simple congratulatory note. Often times that leads to a brief exchange of emails so that we can get caught up with each other. A few times it’s even led to inviting a few of them back to campus to be a guest speaker in my class.
I encourage my students to sign up for LinkedIn and to start building their network as soon as they can, freshmen year is ideal. They can connect with each other, their friends, neighbors, relatives, teachers, and recruiters.
I’ve also used LinkedIn to reconnect with some of my old college friends and get caught up with each other (and wonder where did the past 40 years go!)
I also enjoy the Today’s News and Views for a chance to read stories I might have otherwise missed, many of which then find their way into my class discussions.
I’ve also used it as a platform to share a few of my own blog posts.
Despite my daily usage, I certainly would not consider myself a power user. Given my job function and where I am in my career, I don’t feel a need to use most of the features available in the premium version.
But if I worked in recruiting or was looking to switch jobs, then I think I would definitely have the premium version, and be on LinkedIn a significant part of the day.
One premium feature that does look tempting is the On-Demand Learning with Lynda. The ability to take a wide variety of courses is quite appealing. Perhaps when I retire I can spend my time taking many of these courses.
My favorite part of technology is its ability to connect people, and in that respect, LinkedIn excels.
I’d encourage any teachers out there to be proactive in connecting with your current students. One day in the not too distant future they will be your former students and LinkedIn is a wonderful way to stay in touch with them.
P.S. For anyone interested in connecting on LinkedIn with me, I’d welcome the opportunity. Just click here.