Launched in 2003, LinkedIn is popular among business professionals and companies. Packed with features to help you expand your network, it’s pretty much like Facebook without the holiday posts and with more professional networking and industry updates.
The piirus.ac.uk team have gathered some tips on how early career researchers could benefits from LinkedIn’s features:
- Showcase your research expertise. LinkedIn provides you the opportunity to showcase your expertise and position yourself as a thought leader within your research area. Lachlan Smith, a Research Funding Bid Writer explains that, “using LinkedIn can be an effective way of linking to potential stakeholders and users of your research. So you have to make sure that you are upfront and clear on your profile as to both what your expertise is and how you can help people, make sure you stand out.” You could also reach further by taking advantage of LinkedIn’s publishing platform.
- Share relevant posts on your feed. Mahantesh Biradar, a researcher from National Yang Ming University in Taiwan, suggests that to maximise networking on LinkedIn, it is important to “share useful information and latest research on your wall so that you can leverage your groups for discussion on your research area.” And if you’re concerned about who can read your feed, it’s useful to know that when sharing an update, you can control who can see it by using the ‘share with’ dropdown menu below the share box. You may have to start typing in the share box to see this menu.
- Connect with stakeholders from organisations you would like to work with. In his book The Research Impact Handbook, Mark Reed Professor of Socio-Technical Innovation at Newcastle University explains that researchers should use the features in the advanced search on LinkedIn — it is a surprisingly powerful search engine, enabling you to focus (for example) on a person’s location, the company they work for or industry they are in. You don’t have to have worked with a person to be able to connect with them. Use your current job title in your connection request, and if necessary Google them to find their email address, and include a short note with your contact request (rather than just using the default message), explaining that you’re interested in their work and think they might be interested in your research (you’ll get a much better acceptance rate this way).
- Use the advanced button to the right of the Search button. Jonathan Moss also says that this is a simple yet efficient way to connect with third sector organisations. As Head of Strategy for Coffey International he actively encourages his programme teams to develop research opportunities suitable for postgraduates. It deepens their organisation’s evidence base and allows them to assess potential future staff.
- You do need a catchy profile. Heather Griffith, postgraduate researcher at the University of Warwick and regular correspondent for piirus.ac.uk says that having an accessible and interesting LinkedIn profile is vital if you want to reach beyond academia and into the corporate world, as this is the first place where such professionals will look you up. It only needs to be brief and can redirect viewers to other academic profiles – just make sure all your information is up to date and consistent across all platforms.
Do you have other tips on how early career researchers could benefit more on LinkedIn? Please share it with us on the comment section below.
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