Interacting with Students & Alumni via LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional online network of over 200 million members from over 200 different countries. It differs from other social networking sites and alumni databases in that it is strictly professional in nature.
The Hiatt Career Center encourages Brandeis students and alumni to take advantage of LinkedIn to make connections, network with fellow Brandeisians and other individuals, research career paths and companies, and search for jobs and internships.
If you do not have a LinkedIn account, you may wish to create a profile to enhance your own professional online brand and find and connect with colleagues and other professionals. For more information on creating a LinkedIn profile and using LinkedIn to your advantage, visit the LinkedIn Learning Center.
If you already have a profile on LinkedIn, you may receive requests to connect from students and alumni. LinkedIn strongly recommends that you only accept invitations to connect from people you know. Some academic departments and programs may have policies on accepting requests from students and alumni, so please check with your administrator. You might also consider putting a disclaimer directly in your profile to clarify your communication preferences. For example, Hiatt Career Center staff members include the following:
**A note to Brandeis students: In an effort to keep a manageable LinkedIn network, I only accept invitations from colleagues with whom I have business relationships and from student staff who work in the Hiatt Career Center. Please join me in one of the numerous groups affiliated with Brandeis University, including "Brandeis University Career Connections" and the "Brandeis University Alumni Networking Group.”
Whatever your comfort level may be, it is important to remember that you have the following options when you receive any invitation to connect:
- Accept: Click this button to add the contact as one of your first-degree connections. Other LinkedIn members will be able to see that you are connected.
- Reply (don’t accept yet): Click the drop-down on the right side of the Accept button to see this option and reply without accepting the invitation.
- Ignore: Clicking this button will move the invitation to your “Archived” folder without accepting it. The other person won’t be notified that you’ve ignored their invitation, so they may try to connect with you again. After you click the Ignore button, you will have the option of clicking I Don’t Know [Name] to prevent that member from sending you any more invitations.
- Report as Spam: Clicking this button will report the invitation as spam.
In addition to requests to connect, you may also receive recommendation requests from students and/or alumni via LinkedIn. A LinkedIn recommendation is a short reference that appears on a user's profile in conjunction with a specific company, school, or organization.
On the other hand, endorsing a member of your network is an opportunity to proactively affirm their skills as listed in their profile; users cannot request an endorsement.
As with traditional references and recommendations, you have the option to accept or deny the request, or ask for additional information to make your choice.
There are a number of Brandeis-affiliated networking groups on LinkedIn that may be of interest to faculty and staff. The Hiatt Career Center in particular moderates the Brandeis University Career Connections group. Brandeis Career Connections is open to Brandeis alumni, students, family, staff and friends to network across industries, functions and geographic areas. Join today to share career advice and referrals with the broader Brandeis community.