College students often assumed that LinkedIn is only useful for those already in the workforce, but you should not wait until you graduate to join. This popular networking site can be a powerful resource that students can utilize in many ways.
- Introduce yourself to the professional world. LinkedIn profiles consist of sections that allow the user to provide information about their education, experience, and skills. By creating a profile you are letting the professional world know who you are.
- Control your online identity. Having a LinkedIn profile ensures more than just your Facebook page will show up when potential employers Google you. LinkedIn profiles tend to appear at the top of online search results so that your first impression is a good one.
- Get recommended. LinkedIn allows you to request recommendations from people you have worked with. College students can get recommendations from professors or internship supervisors that have seen their work. This may be just what a potential employer needs to verify their interest in you.
- Join groups. Joining groups on LinkedIn helps you stay in touch with former or current organizations, find people with similar interests, and participate in a professional community online. Being a part of a group extends your network and increases profile visibility.
- Begin networking. You do not have to wait until you graduate to begin networking. By making connections with professors and classmates, you can start to build a network that can prove valuable both during and after school.
- Prepare for job interviews. You are expected to know about a company you are interviewing for, but what about the people that are interviewing you? Their profiles can provide useful information about their job history or background that may increase your chances of making a good impression.
- Stay in touch with contacts. Students often meet professionals at networking events and are asked to contact them after graduation. With LinkedIn you can request a connection to ensure they remember you and stay in touch.
- Search for jobs. Whether you are about to enter the job market or are just curious about what kind of jobs are available, LinkedIn’s job search tool can help. You can search for jobs by experience level, location, company, job function, and industry.
- Keep your information updated. It is easy to let profiles get out of date or remain incomplete. But you never know who is looking at them, so it is important to keep your work experience, skills, and contact information up to date.
- Get answers. LinkedIn’s answers section provides a place where members can ask question about anything business related, from specific industries to career advice. So if you find yourself confused or curious about the next stage in your life don’t be shy, get advice from those who have been there.
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