Social Media for Professional Networking
Social Media for Professional Networking

Social Media for Professional Networking

Lead Author(s): Theresa Clarke

Source: Theresa B Clarke

Student Price: FREE

A homework assignment by Dr. Theresa B. Clarke.

Social Media for Professional Networking (LinkedIn)

by

Dr. Theresa B. Clarke - clarketb@jmu.edu

Recent years have witnessed a flourishing of social media. The purpose of this social media assignment is to expose you to some of the outstanding opportunities available for professional networking. As a marketing major, it is important to understand that networking, including online networking, is a very important part of our profession. If you are not already engaging in the social web as a professional, this assignment will help you to get started in one of the most prominent and effective forms of social networking:  LinkedIn.  

Read the directions below very carefully and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  Further, do not wait until the day before the due date to begin this assignment.

Optional, but HIGHLY RECOMMENDED readings (please let me know at clarketb@jmu.edu if there are any broken links in this list or elsewhere on this page):

  • 7 Tips to Make Sure Your LinkedIn Picture Is Helping, Not Hurting, Your Prospects 
  • Super simple LinkedIn Profile Picture Tips 
  • Excellent personal branding tips!   Breaking Bad Social Media Behaviors Not Suitable for Personal Branding
  • 10 Tips That Will Help You Score an “All Star” Rating on LinkedIn
  • The Secret to a Killer LinkedIn Profile - According to its Co-Founder 
  • How to Use LinkedIn for Business, Marketing, and Professional Networking 
  • What Every College Student Should Post on LinkedIn
  • 55% of Recruiters Reconsider Job Candidates After Seeing Their Social Media Profiles
  • 26 Tips for Enhancing Your Experience in LinkedIn
  • The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Mastering LinkedIn
  • 7 Ways Your LinkedIn Profile And Resume Should Differ 
  • Just for Fun, Try a few things on "Luckie's 30-Day Social Media Makeover." 
  • Love this!  Dracula's LinkedIn Profile http://fw.to/AiNtZwW 
  • 9 Things Desperately Missing from Marketers’ Resumes
  • 6 Steps to Building a Killer LinkedIn Profile Infographic
  • 33 Tweetable Tips That’ll Help You Master LinkedIn  

LinkedIn: 


  • Join LinkedIn: Go to http://www.linkedin.com and set up an account.  

  • Public Profile ID:  If you haven’t done so already, create a Customized Public Profile URL in LinkedIn rather than keeping the generic URL. Example:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/theresabclarke 
    •  Optional:  Learn how to promote your public profile ID.


  • Develop your professional network:  For this assignment, establish a minimum of twenty connections with other professionals. One of your 20 connections must be me (use clarketb@jmu.edu to request the connection). Keep in mind that LinkedIn connections are not the same as Facebook friends or Twitter followers. Everyone has different parameters regarding who they do and do not add into their networks. For LinkedIn, I recommend that the majority of your connections include:  professors, teachers, instructors, coaches, advisors, internship supervisors, managers, co-workers, or other colleagues.  If you want to add people into your LinkedIn Network who are personal friends that's ok, but I suggest you include friends that have had some type of working and/or professional relationship, such as working on a paper or group project together.  I believe it is very important that you actually know the people in your LinkedIn network and have had some kind of professional/working relationship.  Do not procrastinate on this assignment.  Prospective connections may not respond to your connection request in a timely manner.


  • Develop your professional network:  For this assignment, establish a minimum of twenty connections with other professionals. One of your 20 connections must be me (use clarketb@jmu.edu to request the connection). Keep in mind that LinkedIn connections are not the same as Facebook friends or Twitter followers. Everyone has different parameters regarding who they do and do not add into their networks. For LinkedIn, I recommend that the majority of your connections include:  professors, teachers, instructors, coaches, advisors, internship supervisors, managers, co-workers, or other colleagues.  If you want to add people into your LinkedIn Network who are personal friends that's ok, but I suggest you include friends that have had some type of working and/or professional relationship, such as working on a paper or group project together.  I believe it is very important that you actually know the people in your LinkedIn network and have had some kind of professional/working relationship.  Do not procrastinate on this assignment.  Prospective connections may not respond to your connection request in a timely manner.
  • Participate in the Groups:  Post a well thought-out question/comment/etc. in one of your groups.  You may attempt to start a new discussion or comment on an existing thread.  Capture a screenshot of at least one of your questions/comments.


Recommendations:  

  • Write one recommendation for another connection.  
  • Next, request and receive one recommendation written by another connection (it could be the same person you wrote the recommendation for).  

Tips:

  • Consider obtaining recommendations from people other than your professors.  While professors are good, I don’t want them being bombarded all at once.  Other examples are coaches, advisors, supervisors, co-workers, teammates from group projects, members of students organizations that you work with, etc.  Avoid recommendations from family members and friends that you only interact with on a personal basis.
  • Recommendations are traditionally one paragraph, 5-7 sentences, and posted on profile pages for others to see.  
  • For this assignment, you cannot contact me to write your recommendation, however I would be happy to explore that possibility at a later date.
  • For further information about recommendations, please visit :  http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/90/~/recommendations-overview


Deliverable: 


  • Documentation is key to earning full credit on this assignment.  Once you have done the above named tasks, take a screenshot of the items listed below and paste them into a word document. Take a screen shot (Alt-PrtScn or Ctrl-PrtScn) and then paste (Ctrl-v or right click to paste) a copy of that screen shot.  Crop the images appropriately so that no excess information appears in your image (e.g., tabs in your browser window, excessing framing, etc).   In Microsoft Word, select your picture and crop using the Picture Tools option.
      •   profile page, 
      •   connections page (showing total number of connections only, not all connections), 
      •   listing of groups page (ensure that I am able to see the JMU Marketing Group). 
      •   question/comment in a group,
      •   recommendation received, 
      •   recommendation given. 


You must show proof of your LinkedIn participation by printing the evidence of ALL the various materials noted above. It is up to you to have all the documentation turned in all at once, no later than the deadline. To earn full credit, turn in all cropped screen shots in a stapled packet no later than the due date on the calendar.  You may lose points if your assignment is not stapled together with a real stapler, if typos are found, if I cannot read the information in your screenshots, and/or you do not follow the directions above.  Please turn in professional-looking work.  Thanks

After you have finished printing hard copies of your screen shots, on a separate sheet of paper, copy these questions and paste them into a new document.  Handwrite or type your answers to all questions. Staple this page(s) to your packet of screen shots.  


D1

First and Last Name?


D2

What is your LinkedIn Customized Public Profile URL? After writing or typing the URL here, circle the URL on the hard copy of your screen shots.


Q3
No correct answers: No correct answer has been set for this question

What is your current LinkedIn Profile Strength? (If you have trouble finding it, scroll down your page and look on the right).

A

Beginner

B

Intermediate

C

All-Star


What is the exact number of connections you have as of today?
No correct answers: No correct answer has been set for this question
A

< 100

B

101 - 250

C

251 - 499

D

500 +


D5

How satisfied are you with the ratio between your personal and professional LinkedIn connections?


D6

Briefly explain your prospecting strategy for linking to other professionals.


D7

Now that you have finished the assignment, what were some of your overall take-away lessons?


Closing Comments:


You are not required to keep your LinkedIn account active once you have completed this course, but I believe it will be highly beneficial for you to do so. According to Jesse Wright, a former JMU Marketing student of mine, "A company I applied to didn't want a resume, but rather just a link to my LinkedIn profile."  From Janet Miller, President and CEO at Marketing Mojo, "We use LinkedIn first to research candidates. I was surprised at how many college students didn't know about it. I also told all of them to be sure to link with everyone they met -- recruiters, alums, professors. That social networking can go far to help you find a job. You just never know when opportunity might knock, and I turn to LinkedIn as one of my first sources to find good talent."  Finally, read what JMU Alum, Matt Dixon, has to say about sales and networking through LinkedIn. 

While you are engaging in social media, please consider "liking" JMU Marketing at http://www.facebook.com/jmumarketing.  You do not need a Facebook account in order to view this page.  Sometimes I post job announcements in there.  Thanks!  

Social Media for Professional Networking by Theresa B. Clarke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Based on a work at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1J04KPS9Q0hSSyYFmDCgxXwE1KChWRU5kbJ3_QLeLpak/edit?authkey=CP7a2sYF.