How LinkedIn Works

LinkedIn Profiles

LinkedIn basic information page
LinkedIn basic information page
Image courtesy LinkedIn

To start using LinkedIn you need to register and create a profile page. During registration, you'll be asked for some basic personal information: name,

e-mail address, location, current employer and where you went to college. Then you'll be prompted to fill out more detailed information on your profile page.

A LinkedIn profile reads like a professional résumé. The focus is on employment and education history, not a list of hobbies and favorite movies. To fill out your profile page, you'll begin by creating separate entries for each of your current and former jobs -- job title, employer, industry, dates and a short description of what the job entailed.

LinkedIn summary, experience and education page LinkedIn summary, experience and education page
LinkedIn summary, experience and education page
Image courtesy LinkedIn

Education experience works the same way. You'll create separate education entries for every institution you attended after high school. Education entries include the school's name, degree earned, years attended, awards won and any other notes you'd like to add. LinkedIn will use all of this employment and education history later on to help you search out former and current colleagues and classmates.

Employment and education history are the basics of the profile page. You can also fill out a summary, which is a short description of your professional experience and skills, and post a profile picture. There's also a section to list any Web sites that you're associated with, both personal and professional, and a space for a short list of interests, affiliated groups and honors.

Now let's see how to find people to join your network.