It is estimated that over 175 million of professionals around the world use LinkedIn to exchange ideas, opportunities and information. The site helps professionals stay informed of their contacts and industry, find people and knowledge they need to achieve their goals and control their professional identity while they are online (LinkedIn, 2012). The aim of this essay is to highlight the process of setting up a LinkedIn account, issues encountered, the privacy settings and how I will use my LinkedIn account in the future.
Setting up a LinkedIn Account
The first step is to visit the website www.linkedin.com and fill in the first name, last name, the email address and the password. It is important that if multiple emails exist, the one associated with the company domain is used (Hines, 2012).
Next step is to click on the “Join Now” button. This will direct one to a page that will ask for the employment status, country, the zip code, the company name, and the job title. There are two different options of employment status, “Employed” and “A Business owner.” I completed the one for employed and, on the company name field, a new field appeared for the company’s industry where I filled in all about my company’s industry.
LinkedIn sends an email address to verify the email address used to open the LinkedIn account. This is done by clicking on the link in the email address or by copying and pasting the link to a browser. One has to confirm the link before proceeding further.
LinkedIn will then offer to find people by examining the contact list of the webmail contacts or by prompting the applicant to invite people that one knows to join LinkedIn. LinkedIn will then ask if one wants to pay for a premium profile or just a free profile. I clicked the “Choose Basic” button, at least for now.
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Editing the New LinkedIn Profile
To edit the new profile to have a professional outlook, one needs to move the cursor over the “Profile” to drop down menu and click the “Edit Profile.” I carried out the following settings to the new profile:
- Add a photo to your profile: I added a photo to this profile for users who may be searching for me to immediately recognize my face;
- Fill in your past work positions. I filled in all that was relevant to my work experience, the places I have worked at, and the duration of jobs;
- Fill in your past education. I filled all my past schools where that I have gone;
- Add your company website. This is to help to identify the company; also there is a place to fill in the information about a personal website;
- There is an option of linking the new account to Twitter to enable posting LinkedIn updates on Twitter;
- Customize your public profile URL. This is done by clicking “Edit” next to the public profile URL;
- Fill in a personal summary. This is a short description of the work and education experiences by using only less than 2,000 characters;
- Add a list of your specialties. These can be sourced from the resume (LinkedIn, 2012).
The privacy settings need be adjusted to make the account more secure. This is done by hovering over the person’s name in the top right corner of the LinkedIn screen. Select “Settings” and adjust the activity broadcasts (status updates), activity feed, and information that one wants others to view him/herself. I only want my professional information to be viewed by all members of the public, who can be in a position to view connections; all members of the public can view it, and even those users who are not signed in to LinkedIn. It is also possible to edit privacy settings regarding marital status, and on birthdays (How to Set Up a LinkedIn Profile, 2012).
LinkedIn privacy settings is a streamlined process that ensures that there is the protection of personal data and, thus, prevents accidental information disclosure or loss against the user’s consent. Since I am new to linked in, I put my photo so that any member I know can easily add me to their connections, and I want my profile to be seen by all of the public. This is to enable my professional connections to be seen by all members and enable me to have quick connections.