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However, networking is about building relationships. I’m in my current position thanks to someone I met 10 years before, and I am sure you have heard similar stories.

Indeed, data shows that 70-80 percent of jobs are found through networking rather than applying online.

Once you have a solid profile (i.e., a good summary, relevant sections filled out, a professional picture and a customized URL), here's how you can leverage Linked In to manage your career.

Networking Most people cringe when they hear the word "networking," and many academics feel it is a sort of sleazy thing you need to do when you are looking for a job. When it comes to meeting people and expanding your network, my mantra is that you never know.

Your network should include anyone with whom you feel comfortable talking.

It can be your lab mates, classmates, boss, family, people you met at conferences, people you work with when you volunteer and so on.

Linked In is useful for many aspects of your career: networking (which is not something that you do only when you are looking for a job), keeping up with your professional field, building and maintaining your online presence, and job searching.

Hence, Linked In can essentially be your career-management tool.

But before you start to invite people to connect with you to reach that magic number, remember: networking is about building relationships, and so connecting to someone on Linked In is to help you with building and maintaining your network.

It will tell you when someone has a work anniversary, new job and even a birthday.

Again, don’t just click “like” or send the generic congrats. Linked In also allows you to be more intentional with your network maintenance.

Now that you know how to actively find and connect with people, you should know what to do when it comes to accepting invitations.

I often get asked: What should I do when someone I don’t know invites me to connect? If you want Linked In to be a useful tool, your connecting policy should be driven by your desire to 1) connect with people you would feel comfortable asking a favor from, and 2) connect with people you can vouch for when they ask you for a favor.