Before reading through this article, you must already have your linkedIn account. if you do then continue reading, if not please read my article on how to create your linked in account.
So you have your shiny new profile all ready to go, but you are missing one crucial pirce of the puzzle…Connections.
Connections are the core to the power of LinkedIn. Through connections you can be introduced to others, find former colleagues, and even old college connections.
Here is a list of the “types” of searches we will be covering:
1. Checking your address book in Gmail, Yahoo, MSN or other popular free email services for possible connections.
2. Browse through a list of your past and current colleagues to uncover potential connections.
3. College Classmates are potential connections too! Finding these connections is made simple by LinkedIn’s
powerful search features.
So let’s take a look at each of these. one by one in the below.
Let’s start by finding the “Add Connections” button in the Contacts Toolbar in LinkedIn. Take a look at the first image in this article to get a better idea of what I am referring to.
Once you click this button you will be brought to a screen which allows you to choose a method of adding connections:
You will see three tabs:
1. Invite Contacts – Invite people on your email contacts list
2. Colleagues – Invite those who you work with or have worked with in the past to connect.
3. Classmates – Connect with those you went to college with
Next we will start with Inviting Contacts.
Now that you have learned the three primary options to make “Connections” lets go over one you are already a little bit familiar with. We are inviting our contacts to connect with us, much like some of us did during the signup process.
You will be surprised how many of your email contacts are already LinkedIn.
To start, enter your email address in the box shown below. Once you have entered thecemail address press “Continue”.
Follow the on screen instructions and you will wind up at the screen shown below.
You will see a list of your contacts from the email address you entered. Place a checkmark next to those you wish to invite to connect with you. If you see a blue “IN” logo, this means they are already a member of LinkedIn. If not, you can still invite them to Sign up for LinkedIn.
This is one of the quickest ways to make your first connecions since you already know the people on your email list (most likely). So make sure you take this time to go through these steps, and before you know it you may have dozens of connections from Email Contacts alone!
Not bad for 3 minutes of work right?
Let’s move on to the colleague search.
OK, so you have already Connected with your email contacts. What’s next? You guessed it! Colleagues!
Based on the work experience you entered into your profile, LinkedIn will allow you to search through both past
and present companies to find possible Connections.
Let’s jump right into it. This process is actually quite painless!
First, make sure you have clicked “Add Connections” and you are at the main Add Connections Screen. While on this screen, click the second tab called “Colleagues”.
When you click this tab you will automatically see a list of your past and present employers listed as buttons.
Place a check next to each person you would like to “Connect” with and press the “Send Invitations” button.
Well I told you that was easy! Now go back and look through other companies you have worked for, or currently work at! You will be surprised how many Connections you can make in this manner.
Finally we will look at the Classmates search. You guessed it, it’s easy and its based on the schools you attended (as provided in your profile).
Like adding Colleagues, adding Classmates is very simple to do. First Click on the “Classmates” tab on “Add Connection” and you will see a screen like the one pictured below.
Now that you have clicked on the school of your choice, you will see a list of students who attended the same years you did.
You may also change the years listed using the drop down menu called “View Graduation Year Only”.
Simply click “Invite” next to the classmates name that you knew, and follow the on screen instructions. It’s that simple!
You can also break the names down in ABC order, this has helped me make my searches quicker in the past.
Well, thats it for adding Classmates!
In my next post, I will show you how to do some advance searches and other forms of finding connections.
Part 1: LinkedIn: Introduction
Part 2: LinkedIn: Creating Your Account
Part 3: LinkedIn: Connect With Contacts and Invite Friends
Part 4: LinkedIn: Building Your Profile
Part 5: LinkedIn: Add Your Resume Elements
Part 6: LinkedIn: Adding Connections
Part 7: LinkedIn: Adding Connections – Other Methods
Part 8: LinkedIn: Adding Connections – LinkedIn Groups
Part 9: LinkedIn: Adding Connections – LinkedIn Answers
Part 10: LinkedIn: For Job Hunting
Part 11: LinkedIn: For Job Hunting – Strategies