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With over 500 million users across the globe, LinkedIn has established itself as the premier professional networking site. For almost all career fields, a LinkedIn account is essential to market yourself and stay connected in the professional world.

A LinkedIn account allows you to:

  • Develop your professional profile/brand that highlights your qualifications and accomplishments
  • Network with professionals, alumni, and students
  • Search for and apply to job opportunities and be recognized by recruiters
  • Provide and receive recommendations to better market yourself
  • Stay up-to-date on various topics by joining interest groups

Networking on LinkedIn

There are three main ways to search for and connect with other professionals:

1. Join industry-specific groups and your University's relevant LinkedIn groups:

2. You can also use the LinkedIn Alumni Tool and filter your search by Location, Employer, Industry, Degree, etc.  Read more tips here.

Screenshot of LinkedIn's alumni tool search

3. Click on the Search bar in the top-left corner and then "Search for people with filters." After clicking Connect, make sure to "Add a note" to let the professional know why you are connecting.

Screenshot of a LinkedIn people search

Using Advanced Search Feature

By using the Advanced Search feature, you can search for other professionals, groups, and jobs/internships.

Screenshot of LinkedIn's search bar

Here are some ways you can construct an effective Boolean search:

Quoted searches - For an exact phrase, enclose the phrase in quotation marks. For example, type "product manager". You can also use quotation marks if you want to find someone with a multi-word title. Avoid stop words, such as "by", "in", "with", etc.

NOT searches - To exclude a particular term, type that term with an uppercase NOT immediately before it. For example, type programmer NOT manager.

OR searches - To see results that include one or more terms in a list, separate the terms with an uppercase OR. For example, type sales OR marketing.

AND searches - To get results that include two or more terms in a list, you can use the uppercase word AND as a separator. For example, type manager AND director. Note: You don't need to use AND. If you search 2 or more terms, you'll automatically see results that include all of them.

Parenthetical searches - To do a complex search, you can combine terms using parentheses. For example, to find people who have "VP" in their profiles, but you want to exclude "assistant to VP" or SVPs, type VP NOT (assistant OR SVP).

When handling searches, the overall order of precedence is:
2.    Parentheses [()]
3.    NOT
4.    AND
5.    OR