Social Media 101: LinkedIn

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By AHRA Staff

April 2011–Currently, the most popular business oriented social networking site, LinkedIn, boasts over 100 million registered users. The purpose of the site is to allow users to maintain a list of business contacts, or “connections.”

Users can make use of their contacts in several beneficial ways. As you make more connections, your contact network expands as it gains not only your direct connections, but also the connections of each of their connections (“second degree connections”), and the connections of your second degree connections (“third degree connections”). As a result, you can reach out directly to or be introduced to someone you may know through a mutual contact. These introductions can be extremely helpful when searching for jobs, potential employees, and business opportunities.

Other LinkedIn features include groups (such as AHRA), which allow users to freely join together to establish new business relationships and engage in professional discussions in nearly any industry. LinkedIn also allows employers to post available jobs (for a fee), which users can view via keyword or an advanced search.

If you already joined, great! If you would like to, visit LinkedIn’s site and follow the basic instructions.

Of importance for many people are privacy concerns. Because LinkedIn is primarily used for professional reasons, privacy concerns tend to be different than they are on more generalized sites like Facebook. But there are still many ways to control who can see what’s on your LinkedIn profile.

To change your privacy settings, login to LinkedIn.  Place your cursor over your name at the top right hand corner, then select “Settings” from the drop down menu.


Upon reaching your Account & Settings place, take a look at the menu on the bottom half of your screen.  The tabs on the left allow you to control your profile settings; email preferences; group, companies, and application settings; and account settings.


Your profile settings allow you to determine who can see your activity feed (a chronological record of what groups you’ve joined, who you’ve added as a connection, etc), your connections, your photo (should you choose to include one on your profile), and what others can see when you’ve viewed the profile (your full name versus a generic description of who you are without including your name).  You can also edit information on your profile and adjust settings for any other items included on your profile (eg, your Twitter feed).


The email preferences tab allows you to determine how often and for what reasons LinkedIn can send you email updates and other types of communications (eg, connection requests, discussion updates from your group pages, group invitations, etc).


In the groups, companies, and applications tab, you can view which groups you’re in, edit the way in which your groups are displayed in your main navigations, your communication settings with groups, as well communication settings with company pages and applications.


The accounts tab allows you to adjust how you view ads, photo settings, your home page, language preferences, email and password settings, account upgrades (for a fee, you can get more communication options and enhanced search tools), and other helpful links.


Now that you’ve joined LinkedIn and tailored it to suit your privacy needs, join the AHRA group by clicking the icon below.  By joining AHRA’s group, you’ll receive AHRA updates, discussions, Industry News posts, and the latest from our online Job Bank.

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