Establishing a rapport with professors is undoubtedly worth the time and effort because it is highly beneficial throughout your academic and professional careers. Professors can help you choose classes, offer internships, and guide you in your post-college career, in addition to giving academic support.
Creating a professional network with your university professors displays that you appreciate the value of developing meaningful relationships with prominent people. Being a student provides numerous opportunities to broaden your spheres of influence, including building relationships with teachers. And you must exploit the opportunities!
There are numerous reasons why you might want to connect with academicians. They are usually well-connected, especially in their technical domains. These professors may be able to connect you with experts who can provide you with informational interviews, writing opportunities, internships, permanent employment, and other chances for professional development. It is also possible that they may provide you LinkedIn references or skill endorsements.
Is it ethical for a student to connect with a professor on LinkedIn?
It is entirely subjective whether or not it is unprofessional. However, it is quite okay to connect with your instructors on LinkedIn. But keep in mind that you don’t have to speak with them or comment on every post they make; it’s better to stay linked via LinkedIn in a professional manner, as opposed to Facebook. Remember, while sending an invite request, provide a personalized note. Explain that you wish to connect with them on LinkedIn in order to build a network of professionals in your desired field.
💡 Generate personalized emails, blog articles, product descriptions, and ads in seconds using the power of A.I
By including a note alongside your invite request, you demonstrate that you are serious about using LinkedIn professionally. It might or might not assist with a particular professor, but it is a fantastic method to establish your seriousness and professionalism in general.
In addition, instead of engaging with professors, you can “follow” them. You can start seeing and engaging if your professor shares content on a regular basis. People are more inclined to accept your invite request if they sense that you are taking their content seriously. It’s another approach to show that you’re serious about making meaningful connections.
Why should we connect with professors on LinkedIn?
College is intended to teach students a variety of skills. Getting ready for a career is usually one of the primary reasons for earning a degree. As a result, it is vital for students to learn from professors who have practical, real-world experience in a specific subject.
Your teachers are well-connected due to their long years of teaching and training. More importantly, your lecturers know a lot of people with the same training as you. It is because they attended the same institution and possibly graduated from the same program, they are more likely to give you informational interviews or refer you to companies.
So, it is advantageous to get in touch with your professors because your success is their ultimate goal. Your success will not only benefit you, but also bring up the name and reputation of your alma mater. Consider it a win-win situation. Here are some other benefits of connecting with your faculty.
You learn about Potential Problems and Solutions
Professors with industry expertise can share their experiences and how they precisely overcame them because they have been exposed to a range of scenarios and obstacles in their employment.
Students majoring in business administration, for example, may be unaware of the difficulties that come with managing a diverse range of personalities in the workplace. Professors with experience in human resource management have most likely worked with a wide range of people and have learned the most effective communication tactics for keeping everyone pleased and on the same page. As a result, they can apply their knowledge and expertise to the courses they teach. This type of direct knowledge is not easily found in a textbook or online.
You learn about the specific skills needed for a job
They are aware of the special talents required for jobs in a certain field. Students can learn specialized skills from professors who work in their fields during the day and teach at night or who have recently worked in a given field. Lecturers with industry experience can teach students specific skills that will help them acquire a job and subsequently thrive in that role.
This entails bringing a skill set to a job interview and then putting those skills to use. Training programs for new employees are undoubtedly widespread, but it may still make a significant difference when a graduate has skills under their belt that they’ve already gained before joining a new workplace.
They can help break down the Syllabus
Consider a human rights course on the Immigration and Refugee Crisis. This is a very broad subject that could include dozens of subtopics, ideas, and other pertinent points that lecturers want their students to learn. However, the underlying applicability of this topic may be lost in the shuffle.
The good news is that lecturers with industry experience may assist in reducing the burden of this course so that you can narrow down and focus on the most practical and relevant parts of the subject. This might include explaining what it’s like to work as a human rights expert, the responsibilities of operating in regions of war and poverty and how to remain level-headed, identifying major issues and law of the land, and a variety of other real-world uses of the subject.
They are well-versed in their industry
Professors with industry experience can give students the current – or recent – pulse on a specific industry. For instance, a teacher in a social work degree program who also owns her counseling firm can tell her students what it’s like to work in the field, what types of cases and challenges she works with, and what the current condition of social work looks like. This could include any trends she notices among her customers or what she hears from colleagues working in the sector at conferences.
They will be able to assist you with professional networking
A professor with industry experience is likely to have some connections to a specific subject and, as a result, a good pool of specialists at their disposal. Furthermore, professors often desire to support their students in maximizing their job prospects. So, if you are motivated in your studies and show a desire to succeed, your professor may be willing to assist you.
Consider the following ideas to help you with your business networking:
- Connect on LinkedIn with all of your college instructors.
- Look for industry-related groups on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media platforms to gain insight into these industries.
- Request contact information from your lecturers for individuals in the field with whom you may speak and learn more about what they do.
- Encourage your professor to bring industry experts to your classes (either in person or virtually) to discuss their work with students.
- Request letters of recommendation from your teachers.
You will be able to keep an eye out for companies that hire people like you
Finally, if your fellow alums have updated their LinkedIn profiles, you can search through their employment histories to uncover opportunities for your future. What did they do with their training that you might consider doing with yours? It’s a useful creative tool to have.
How to formally approach Professors for connecting?
You can connect with your professors, academic advisors, and other mentors on LinkedIn as a college student, in addition to your classmates, family, and family friends. These professionals may be ready to connect you with other professionals in their networks who share your objectives.
You could also ask your professors and mentors for a LinkedIn recommendation. It would help you stand out if you have someone who can speak to your experience and skills, especially if they are in your field. In addition to requesting recommendations, you can request that they endorse the abilities and experience listed at the bottom of your LinkedIn page. Below are some strategies to implement while trying to connect with your professor.
Networking with faculty members should be viewed as an opportunity to learn more about your field rather than a means of obtaining a job. People will be more likely to talk to you if they know you’re only looking for information, and your attempts to connect will be more genuine as a result.
Before contacting your professors, learn about their interests and accomplishments by reading their blogs, websites, and papers. Students with a basic understanding of their background might ask networking inquiries regarding their vocations and courses of study.
Develop thoughtful connections
Although college professors can be valuable resources, networking is a two-way street. If you come across an article that is related to your professor’s study, send it to them with a brief note. If you find out they’ve won a major award or released a new book, congratulate them on your way out of class or write them a quick email. Remember to be genuine in these situations; everyone can detect a fake compliment.
Be an enthusiastic learner
Give your instructors a compelling reason to want to interact with you. Demonstrate to them that you want to do well in school and be a good student. Be responsible for your activities and develop the proper mindset and behaviors. Showcase your dependability by attending class and completing assignments on time. Participate in discussions and ask probing questions. You only get one shot at making a good first impression!
Inquire about their work path and what led them to where they are today; get their advice on what you can do right now to determine your personal goals. Then make sure to follow their suggestions! Make use of their real-world experience and insights to help you succeed. You can even go a step further and ask them to be a mentor, which is highly valuable both in school and when starting your profession.
The importance of follow-up in relationship building cannot be overstated. Always send a quick email or message thanking your professor for their time after a meeting. Include anything you offered to share during the meeting (for example, a link to a brilliant article you read). Establishing your dependability is a vital element of developing this professional relationship, especially if you plan to approach them for a reference or recommendation for a career or graduate school.
Feedback has the potential to transform a professional connection into a mentor/mentee relationship. Therefore, request feedback from your faculty whenever feasible, especially if you followed their guidance.
Keeping in touch with your friends and family throughout your college years and after you graduate is critical! Your professors can create recommendation letters and serve as references in a variety of scenarios. Furthermore, as you go on life beyond college, you should WANT to continue your relationships with your professors; they’ve become a special part of your circles of influence who can continue to have an impact for years to come.
Don’t forget to thank them
Extending gratitude is one way to give back. A thank you note goes a long way! And because few people consider to do so, doing so distinguishes you from the crowd. Thank them for their help with a project, advice on a career path, or anything else that deserves a thank you. This surely leaves an impression.
Don’t restrict your network
Your own professors are a good place to start, but expand your college network by addressing other professors at your university whose disciplines interest you. If their research or articles come up in your studies, you can even contact professors at different colleges. They are more likely to respond to your outreach while you’re a student than after you graduate, so don’t be afraid to write to someone you admire.
FAQ’s on LinkedIn that new Students and Grads ask
Unlike other social media that most of us are comfortable with, LinkedIn follows a set of rules and patterns. Here are some pointers to help you build your etiquette online.
Q: How frequently should I log into LinkedIn?
A: While logging in on a daily basis is good, what matters most is that you maintain a continuous presence and reply to messages and connection requests in a timely manner. Use LinkedIn’s network update as a reminder to check in and write someone a note, answer a request, or participate in a group discussion.
Q: What should I do if I don’t receive a response to my connection request or message?
A: There is no guarantee that everyone with whom you wish to connect would wish to connect with you. If you haven’t heard from a possible connection in more than a month, send that person an email to let them know you’ve reached out and would like to connect. If it doesn’t work, it’s time to move on to more interesting or responsive folks.
Q: How do I ensure the professionalism of my LinkedIn profile?
A: First and foremost, be completely honest and never bend the truth; remember, your profile is public. Next, upload a professional-looking photograph. Lastly, write up your experience and credentials in the same way that you would on a resume or cover letter. Your writing can be less professional on LinkedIn, but appropriate language, spelling, and editing are vital.
Q: What is the most effective approach to request to speak with someone?
A: Before you send an invitation to connect with your professor, research to see if they add their students in general. LinkedIn provides a standardized message that says, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn,” but it’s a good idea to personalize your requests. You’ll get a better rate of response if you write a concise, personalized, polite message to each potential connection, reminding them of how you met (if required) and stating why you’d like to connect.
Q: Will they notice if I disconnect from them?
A: If you disconnect from someone, they will not be notified. Of course, if that individual searches his or her contacts or sends you a message, you will no longer be recognized as a first-degree relation.
Q: How many organizations should I be a part of?
A: The number of LinkedIn groups you subscribe to should roughly correspond to the number of professional affiliations you have in real life. Quality beats quantity when it comes to reaping the most benefits from group engagement. Another thing to remember is that LinkedIn increased the Group limit from 50 to 100. You can now join twice as many Groups as you could previously. It is beneficial to join an alumnus group or a group relevant to your majors or interests.
Q: How should I go about requesting a recommendation for myself?
A: Be kind and professional, and make it as simple as possible for them to say yes. You can begin by admitting that you understand their hectic schedule and offering to write a draught that they can revise. Further, request recommendations from people who are familiar with your work and you, such as past professors or instructors. Personalize each Recommendation Request in a polite, and personalized note, and include a few paragraphs highlighting any accomplishments or traits this individual may discuss about you.
DO’s and DON’Ts when connecting with Professors on LinkedIn
Getting oneself on LinkedIn isn’t as difficult as you think! On the other hand, LinkedIn is a world away from your Facebook friends and Twitter contacts; therefore, the usual social media norms do not apply.
Why? Because, while you may have some friends on LinkedIn, the platform is also full of recruiters and potential hiring managers who are looking at you from a professional standpoint. Therefore your quirky selfies on Facebook and Twitter should be avoided at all costs! Keeping this in mind, below there’s a list of LinkedIn Dos and Don’ts that you must keep in mind while connecting with professors.
Don’t – Assume That LinkedIn Is Like All Other Social Media Websites
LinkedIn is not Facebook or Twitter; rather, it is your online CV for recruiters and employers. This indicates they don’t care what you had for lunch or if you had a wonderful holiday with your buddies. LinkedIn is not a platform for you to air your grievances. That being said, don’t allow your profile to go dormant — show the LinkedIn world that your profile is still active by providing relevant content on a weekly basis.
This is a professional network where recruiters and companies want to know everything about your work experience and what you’ve been doing to better yourself. So, if you’ve attended a University Careers event, for example, make sure you tell everyone about it, especially if you met a great employer! They might view the post and be impressed that you are proactive in your job quest.
Do – Consider yourself to be in the real world
Would you approach an employer face to face and ask for a job within half an hour? We can only hope! Apply the same principles to LinkedIn. Take it slow and don’t immediately message a LinkedIn user about your admiration for the company and a potential career role.
Research the member’s LinkedIn profile to see what Groups they are a part of. You can then post within such Groups to build a relationship with the employer. In this manner, you may start a conversation without coming out as overly direct.
Don’t – Ask for a call right away
“I’d like to get on a call to learn more about your career path” or “I’d like to meet with you to learn more about the role” is a common request people get. Asking someone to get on the phone with you so you can ask them questions that Google or their LinkedIn profile can tell you is a horrible approach to networking. Good networking does not entail making a phone call or meeting in person.
Remember that if you ask someone to join you on a call, the odds are that others are doing the same. For all of us, time is a valuable resource. So, when you ask for someone’s time, explain why you need to talk to them over the phone. To have a clearer understanding of their experience and expertise, review their LinkedIn profile, read their website or portfolio, conduct a quick search, and read all relevant results. Personalize your queries and choose whether or not a phone conversation is necessary.
Do – Focus on quality, not quality
Everyone seems to be chasing the number in the present day and time: the number of connections, likes, comments, and views. However, have you ever pondered if these numbers ever represent anything in real life?
What’s the sense of having 2,000 connections or 20,000 likes if none of them translates into a helping hand when you need it? Therefore, focus on the quality of the connections you make rather than the quantity. No employer cares about how many followers you have or how many likes your most recent post received. They admire your positive approach and achievements.
Don’t – Ask for reference, without proper skill
It’s standard practice to approach individuals in your network for referrals, but what is proper etiquette? Let’s be honest: if you didn’t explore for employment that matched your skillset and interests before asking for a reference, how can you expect someone else to find the right role for you?
You have a better chance of getting a successful reference if you conduct background research, choose the roles you want to interview for, explain why you believe you are a good fit for that position, submit your most recent résumé, and ask for a referral in a polite manner. If you do end up landing the job through the referral, take a moment to thank the individual who took the time to help you in the first place.
Do – Make sure you’re picture perfect
Why would you need to make your picture stand out on a professional social networking site? The explanation is that recruiters and employers want to see your friendly and approachable personality!
So, to avoid any blunder, have your friends or family snap a professional picture of you with a cheery smile.
Networking with your university professors is the best method to get your professional network off to a good start. It’s a tried-and-true approach for finding internships, making contacts, and even landing your first job. College is one of the few points in life when you will have easy access to such a diverse community of committed, knowledgeable individuals whose sole purpose is to assist you in gaining the knowledge you need to achieve a successful profession.
Many doors will open for you if you have the appropriate mindset and willingness to learn to create relationships with your professors. So jump on the opportunities and start networking – it’s never too late.