Editor’s Note: This is the first in a 3-part “Career Checklist for Students” series by Christina Allen, Director of Product Management for Higher Education, to help students make the most of LinkedIn as they go back to school this Fall. 

In the rush of returning to school or starting a new job, it’s easy to forget how valuable your new relationships can be. The great people you meet can be a “virtual team” providing advice, insights and opportunities for your future. Now is the time to solidify these relationships.

1. Invite them to connect: Think about the people you met. Whom would you like to work with again? Who would write a glowing recommendation?  Who gives good advice, or always knows the answers to thorny problems? Invite them to connect on LinkedIn with a personal message expressing what you value about them, and why you want to stay in touch.

2. Request recommendations: Time flies, and it’s sometimes hard to remember what happened even a month ago.  Now is the time to ask your manager or colleagues to write a recommendation for your LinkedIn profile. It helps to write a short summary of what you accomplished to give them a good starting point. More detail about the work you accomplished makes for a better recommendation.

3. Endorse and recommend others:  Building enduring professional relationships is a two-way street. If you worked with someone stellar, visit their profile and write a recommendation. Or, try our new Endorsements feature and endorse them for the skills you particularly admire.

Your education and internships are the building blocks of your career.  At each milestone, LinkedIn can help you stay in touch with the great people you meet along the way.