focus on professional connections. LinkedIn is the world’s largest
professional network, and it allows you to build an online profile that
features your experience and skills as well as to network with other
users in a professional environment, so it provides a great way to
connect with contacts from your work world. Academia.edu is essentially a
sort of LinkedIn focused on the academic world, so it provides improved
features for things like listing publications. Also – going back to our
discussions of online presence – LinkedIn and Academia.edu profiles
tend to feature high in Google searches, so a well-constructed profile
can be a great way to develop your online brand.
You’re not required to set up an account on either network to finish
this thing, but we strongly recommend you do. You’ll need an account to
explore many of the tools’ features, and it’s a good way to improve your
professional presence online. Pick one (or sign up for both!) and set
up an account.
Getting an account on either tool is simple, and you can register
from their home pages. Make sure you fill in your profile fully. Think
about the search terms you used in Thing 6
and whether you might like to include them here. Remember that these
are professional networks, so your photo, taglines and activities should
be those you’d be happy with employers and colleagues seeing. LinkedIn
allows you to upload your CV straight into your account (with a chance
to edit and format, of course!), which offers an easy way to get all
your job information in.
Once you’ve signed up, try adding colleagues or other contacts.
Successful social media use requires that you actively connect with
people and give them something to interact with, rather than just
setting up an account and leaving it. If you already have a profile but
haven’t used it very much, you might think about these aspects next. You
can use your Twitter and email accounts to find ‘connections’. Don’t be
worried about sending requests to contacts; it’s considered fairly
normal. Try taking this a step further; rather than just sending a
request to connect, send a message with a question or a message.
- LinkedIn offers groups, which allow you to join others based around a sector, place of work or other interest – for example, University of Oxford Alumni or those in this list of great groups for academics. You can also search for groups.
LinkedIn also allows you to see who has viewed your profile, send
private messages and give and ask for recommendation and skill
- Academia.edu has less functionality, but it is geared towards
academic activities. You can write update posts on your activities,
upload papers and other documents which might include ‘grey’ literature
such as conference papers as well as link to your journal articles. It
can also tell you how many people have viewed your profile, what
keywords they used to find you, and who is following your work. You can
also follow the profiles of other scholars, which is useful to keep up
to date with people’s publications.
- You may be interested in the Engage lunchtime course on academic profiles on Linkedin (sign up on the ITLP website).
- Many people find LinkedIn useful as a tool for job searching.
Employers can post jobs but, more importantly, your profile can give you
the opportunity to ‘sell’ yourself to potential employers. Having
endorsements and recommendations can help. Try asking for a
recommendation for your current or previous position.
As we mentioned, feel free to talk about all of this week’s things in
one post, as they lend themselves to comparison and discussion. Did you
choose to use one tool over the other? Do you think these tools offer a
good way to present your professional profile, or do you prefer
something else (a website, blog, etc.)?
If you use Facebook, do you feel that LinkedIn or Academia.edu are a
suitable alternative space for professional activities, or do you find
Facebook works just as well if not better for what you want to do?
Things 11 and 12: LinkedIn and Academia.edu | 23 Things for Research