Students Staff
University of Essex

August 25, 2015

How to network with professionals online

The power of networkingtable-discussion

Networking and exchanging ideas with fellow colleagues at Essex is fundamental to our community. There are endless ways you can connect with others as highlighted previously, and online, social or virtual networking is fast becoming the norm in the professional and academic environment. An article by Ron Pauleyan Academic Liaison Librarian agrees that social media networking can improve connections to fellow researchers, as well as being a platform for acquiring and sharing expertise.

What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn now has upwards of 380 million members – with the fastest growing demographic in its network being students and recent graduates  (LinkedIn 2015). LinkedIn is often misunderstood as being only a job seeking platform, however, its power and reach far exceeds this purpose. LinkedIn is a social network that operates at a professional level, encouraging networking, research, communication and sharing between select groups of like-minded people. Within the academic domain the ability to connect quickly with colleagues across the globe in the same research field or subject area fosters collaborations that may otherwise have been missed or have taken a much longer time to develop.

What can it do?

LinkedIn can be used for presenting a professional portfolio, building networks, communications, marketing and promotion and research and learning. With its acquisition of SlideShare and Lynda.com – both tools for delivering learning – LinkedIn has positioned itself squarely in the education market.

I use it for communicating with an e-Learning group to share experiences, gain ideas and have virtual networking meetings. The benefits of the LinkedIn platform for me means that I can get quick answers to questions and advice; I spend less time travelling to formal networking events whilst still gaining the connections with like-minded people.

The Technology-Enhanced Learning Team (TELT) aims to  encourage staff members, particularly academic staff with teaching responsibilities,  to take advantage of the benefits offered by such technologies within their own continued professional development (CPD). By embracing social networking yourself and experiencing the technologies as a student, hopefully you will feel inspired to incorporate them into your teaching.

Find out more…

At the University there are many staff already on this network and putting it to good use. Students are encouraged to build a professional profile to promote themselves on graduation. If you haven’t yet embraced this social network and would like some more information and advice have a look at our LinkedIn Guide on Moodle. It will explain in more detail what LinkedIn is for, how you can use it and how to get setup and making connections.

References

LinkedIn (2015) About Us Online at: https://press.linkedin.com/about-linkedin [Accessed on: 18 August 2015]

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