LinkedIn, is it useful for academics?

LinkedIn is one of the fastest growing social media platforms with 2 new members joining per second. LinkedIn has over 3.5 Million Australian users. Reports suggest that there are 1.9 million academics listed on LinkedIn.

Although LinkedIn has primarily been promoted as a business to business platform, it is becoming more than just a place to look for a new job and host your CV, with researchers using it as a peer to peer networking tool.

A simple search for the word “research” within LinkedIn returns a multitude of research groups and organisations. A high number of academics are active on LinkedIn, and they are using it to create networks and share valuable knowledge within groups specific to their field of research.

LinkedIn is a great place to develop a network, discussion board, or research specific group that can be accessible to anyone, or a private group where individuals must be accepted upon application. The difference between the public and private groups is who can see the discussions. Private (locked) group discussions can only be seen by other group members. Public (open) group discussions can be seen by anyone on the web and can be shared on other social networking platforms. Private groups can be very useful for research groups that need a place to communicate for a specific project or other purpose.

The key musts for LinkedIn profiles:

  1. Always use a professional looking profile picture
  2. Clearly state your expertise
  3. List all previous and current relevant positions
  4. Include your publications in your profile
  5. Upload and share links to any slideshare presentations you have done.
  6. List your relevant skills

How is your LinkedIn profile working for you? How have you been using LinkedIn in your research life?

I am really interested to hear from the academics, researchers and those working in translation. Perhaps you don’t like LinkedIn or just don’t see the point, what is it that makes you dislike LinkedIn for professional use as a researcher?