Guest Contributor: Ron Nash, Founder of The In Academy.

As an educator, I’m certain by now you’ve heard of LinkedIn? In fact, if you’re reading this article, chances are, you’ve probably heard about how great it is and that you should be using it, but like many people, don’t fully get it.

I’ve got news for you. LinkedIn is like rap; it’s here to stay! So if you are serious about your research, connecting with colleagues, finding groups relevant to your areas of interest and a number of other amazing resources, you’ll want to learn how to leverage LinkedIn.

Why LinkedIn?

I was an early adopter to LinkedIn and have benefited from it for over a decade. There are too many uses for me to state in this article, however, here are a few ways LinkedIn can help you!

  • Maintain connection with colleagues
  • Research information relevant to your area of expertise
  • Maintain a career network
  • Help connect with past school/business associates/colleagues
  • Help maintain connection with your alumni
  • Help maintain professional connection with students

As an educator, I would consider creating a LinkedIn network that consisted of:

  • Field or discipline thought leaders
  • Peers who are researching and/or working on similar challenges or areas of interest
  • LinkedIn discipline-specific groups that are relevant to your field of work

 

Doing this would allow me to have access to professionals in my field, within three degrees of myself at all times of my career.  This means that if I ever needed anything (including a career opportunity), the resources would be available within my network.

Rule: reciprocation is the other part of networking – friends helping friends.

How difficult will it be to learn to use LinkedIn effectively?

The good thing is that we are life-long learners, which means you already know that the more time you put in, the more efficient you become.  There is no easy way to do something that will last a lifetime.

Therefore, the real solution is finding a process, which is repetitive and hopefully enjoyable.

How we retain information

We absorb information best by using multiple senses. That’s why experiential learning (learning by doing) is the best way to learn something new.

A study done at the University of Texas (Metcalf 1997) found that people remember:

  • 10 percent of what they read;
  • 20 percent of what they hear;
  • 30 percent of what they see;
  • 50 percent of what they see and hear;
  • 70 percent of what they say; and
  • 90 percent of what they do and say.

 

8 Tips on How to Learn LinkedIn

1. Connect with your faculty. This will help build your network quickly with someone you have something in common with.

2. Connect with select students.  Will allow you and them to reciprocate in the future.

3. Connect with all of your friends. Adding as many people as you can to your network will increase access to the vast database of over 260 million professionals.

4. Join a LinkedIn Group. A LinkedIn Group is an industry-specific community that anyone can join, or start.

5. Seek out your Alumni. LinkedIn is one of the best ways to reconnect with peers from your past.

6. Use LinkedIn Jobs.LinkedIn has is a huge job aggregator. Many of the postings are only found on LinkedIn.

7. Research. Use LinkedIn as a means of research. There is a ton of information available within LinkedIn, in addition to LinkedIn Pulse which is a new aggregate that you can customize.

8. Consistency is key. Find a resource that has 24/7 access that enforces repetition styled learning, and be consistent.

A LinkedIn Online Learning Resource

My new “LinkedIn Career Networking” is a twelve-lesson program that is taught over 6 weeks online with 24/7 access.

The outcome was to create something that was fun, educational and entertaining at the same time!

This course covers much more than just LinkedIn; it’s a 21st century career-networking course. The curriculum incorporates traditional techniques like, phone calling, letter writing, email etiquette, in-person interviewing, and some of the newer mediums like text etiquette, social media do’s and don’ts, etc. There’s also a lesson on LinkedIn for the creative mind, which focuses on how to use LinkedIn for the creative people of the world who don’t fit the everyday mold.

My LinkedIn Career Networking course is designed to take the mystery out of LinkedIn and career networking for anyone! Learn more about my Ed2Go course, “Introduction to LinkedIn Career Networking,” and visit me at www.TheInAcademy.com.

 

About Ron Nash 

Founder of The In Academy, Business and Career Strategist, LinkedIn Whisperer, Author and NLP Therapist, Ron is a consummate entrepreneur who has a passion for personal development and creating strategies that work. His coaching and recruiting expertise has helped Fortune 50 to 500 companies, including Microsoft, Samsung, Cardinal Health, The Anthony Robbins Companies, Baxter, and others. Since 2005, he has specialized in the art and science of LinkedIn Career Networking. Ron has taught his LinkedIn methodologies at a number of institutions, including AACS, CEA, UCLA, UCSD, Art Institute, CSUSM, T-Mobile, and more. He continues to make an impact by working with to share his ideas through publishing and teaching.

 

Do you use LinkedIn as a professional tool? If so, how? Share your ideas in the comments. And be sure to visit Cengage Learning’s Company page and Group at LinkedIn, too!