“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”

This phrase is overused, but incredibly true. Nowadays, LinkedIn has over 450 million members, so if you do not have a professional LinkedIn account, now is the time to get on it. Tapping into the world of LinkedIn can help you to find a new job, re-connect with old colleagues, or simply expand your networking pool.

Here are a few tips to help you make the most of LinkedIn, so you can really get serious about professional online networking:

Use The LinkedIn Alumni Tool
You can find this by clicking on the LinkedIn homepage, hovering over ‘My Network’ and selecting ‘Find Alumni’. Then, you are able to search for other attendees of your school or university. You can then use these filters to find the right match (where they live, where they work, what they do, what they studied, what they’re skilled at, and how you are connected).

You may not think much of contacting old school pals, but they could really open up your networking world. If you are looking for a job in a new location, they may be able to help. Refine your searches to those working in the industry you are looking to join, in the location you are looking to move. The people in these search results are each potential doors of opportunity – make the most of them. View their profiles, send messages – just get in contact with them.

If you are looking to change careers, you can reach out to people you have something in common with – and a shared school or university gives you a reason to reach out. Identify individuals with similar interests using filters such as ‘What they studied’ and ‘What they’re skilled at’.

Reach out to as many people as possible, regardless of how many years have passed since you have seen them. You never know how it could benefit you today.