LinkedIn has added a wonderful new feature to their arsenal of networking tools. The new college portal
can be accessed two ways: 1), by typing in the URL www.linkedin.com/college
; or 2), by going to the bottom of the page on your home tab after you have logged in to LinkedIn.
The college portal will populate colleges/universities based upon your profile educational data, including school names and class years. Once you access the portal you can click on each school name and expand the class year parameters.
After you access the alumni page for your school, three bar graphs will illustrate the following about the specific alumni population:
- Where they work
- What they do
- Where they live
The bars on each graph serve as filters to enhance your search. For example, you can pick a company, a job category, and a location. Alumni who who meet the criterion based on the filters will have snapshot profiles displayed below the charts. You can also expand your search by picking multiple companies, job types, or locations.
Probably the best feature of the college portal is the "request for a connection" process is much simpler than the standard LinkedIn protocol. Just click on the " connection" link on each profile and an invitation box pops up from where you can send a quick invitation or add a personal message. Why is this easier than than the standard method? First, you do not have to indicate how you know the individual. Second, you can request connections for 3rd's, which you cannot do on a standard LinkedIn search.
Because the college portal draws from your profile, it is essential that our students and alumni list BYU-Idaho using multiple names. Unfortunately, our students and alumni are not consistent in how they list our university on their profiles. The most common is Brigham Young University-Idaho, followed by BYU-Idaho, and then Ricks College. Some have even listed BYUI or BYU Idaho, without the dash. My recommendation is that all of our alumni list our school three times using the names officially used by LinkedIn, which are:
- Brigham Young University-Idaho
- Ricks College
Some of our younger alumni may question why they should include Ricks College since they never attended when the school was known by that name. The simple answer is it will give you portal access to thousands more of our alumni. Coincidentally, I also encourage all of our Ricks alumni to list Brigham Young University-Idaho as the school they attended.
To see an example, you are welcome to see how I have listed the schools on my profile which you can see at: www.linkedin.com/in/byuidahoalumni