The Ins and Outs of LinkedIn for Parents and Teens

LinkedIn is the world's largest free professional network. Students and career men and women are encouraged to join, create a profile, and build their network of professional contacts. LinkedIn can be used to make introductions, ask questions, find or post job openings, and establish a professional web presence.

What is LinkedIn and how do you use it?

Users build the network of professionals they know by importing their address books or entering individual email addresses. They can also join groups of their colleagues and classmates, where they can ask relevant questions, make comments, “like” discussions, and get answers.

LinkedIn contacts are listed by their name and the company or school they belong to. Users can send direct mail to their LinkedIn contacts, or they can send “inmails” to contacts of contacts through the LinkedIn platform without disclosing their email address. People can make introductions between two of their contacts who don't yet know each other.

What is LinkedIn used for?

Profiles are encouraged to profile a person's work experience, education, skills, abilities, and leadership qualities. In other words, they read like a resume with a personal photo. Profiles are public by default, but checkboxes for each piece of information entered let users customize what others can see about them.

How can you access LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is accessbile both by mobile device and cell phone. Users can link their Twitter and LinkedIn accounts so that their LinkedIn status is automatically tweeted, or vice versa.

Anyone age 18 or older is eligible to join LinkedIn, and as soon as teens turn 18 they may find value in signing up. LinkedIn can help them connect with colleges, find part-time jobs or internships, start building a network  of business contacts, and learn from professionals in the fields they are interested in eventually pursuing.

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