If you’re a student, then I’m willing to bet that LinkedIn is one of the social networks you haven’t heard of or aren’t quite sure whether it could benefit your studies. In this guide, we will cover all the reasons why you should get your first LinkedIn account, as well as how to use it to your advantage.
LinkedIn is a professional social network you can use to grow your network, discover job opportunities, make new contacts, and even get hired. Some of the biggest companies globally use LinkedIn to find new hires — because it works, and it’s serious business.
As a student, LinkedIn is one of the most important social networking tools you have at your disposal. I’ll walk you through how to find work using LinkedIn and create an impressive profile that will help you get a job after college.
5 Reasons Students Should Be on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the social network I use the most in my day-to-day life for business and pleasure. As a software engineer, a student, and someone who loves to keep up with the world by following influencers and reading news, LinkedIn is a must for me.
If you’re someone who struggles to find value in the platform, or if you’re considering starting an account, you should read this post to learn five reasons students should be on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is often called a “professional” network when it’s just a place for you to keep in touch with people who should know who you are and vice versa.
1. LinkedIn Helps You Establish an Online Presence
You’re trying to join an industry so covert that it has no internet presence whatsoever. You need to be online to connect with potential employers.
While the best way to do this is to create a personal website, LinkedIn is an easy way to establish an internet presence that people can see when searching for your name in Google or connecting with you after a networking event.
It’s no secret that job-seekers are online more than ever — and that most are using Google to search for jobs. So you can see why having a new LinkedIn profile is crucial if you’re trying to get your dream job. So if you’re a freelancer or consultant, your LinkedIn profile should be the first place you direct people to for more information (assuming you have a personal website as well).
Your LinkedIn profile might be the first online version of yourself that a potential employer or business client will see. That’s why it’s essential to have a professional-looking profile, complete with public endorsements and recommendations from other people in your industry.
2. LinkedIn Can Supplement (or Even Replace) Your Resume
The professional social network is where you should be focusing your attention if you’re looking to get hired. LinkedIn acts as both a portfolio and resume — and many companies request your profile (not resume) when applying for jobs.
Whether or not you decide to remove your resume from the equation or use both, chances are your LinkedIn profile is more polished than those of other candidates. Moreover, if you’re like most people, then you’ve probably spent days (if not months) perfecting your resume – or at least it felt that way – which means that it requires a refresh!
While your resume is still a crucial part of tracking down a potential employer, it’s not the end all be all. Now, along with a resume, you have the opportunity to provide a glimpse into your professional background and connect with others on an entirely new level.
LinkedIn is no longer the relics of the past, reserved for people who aren’t quite technologically capable enough to build a website or keep a blog. More and more companies are using LinkedIn profiles instead of traditional resumes because of the holistic look at your work-related experience and skills.
Because LinkedIn can supplement — or even replace — your resume, it’s essential to take the time to build a profile that gets you noticed.
3. You Can Use LinkedIn to Apply for Jobs
LinkedIn is an excellent tool for job seekers because it allows you to connect with other professionals. These connections can help you develop a network of invaluable people who can help you with your job search and more once you land your new position. LinkedIn is used by millions of professionals every year.
These professionals use it to network, find new opportunities and learn from experts in their field. Think of your LinkedIn profile as your online business card.
It’s the first thing people will see when they search for you, and they’ll base important decisions on what they find. If you are a job seeker, your LinkedIn profile may be part of the application process.
The way to increase your chances of getting hired is to make sure your profile is set up so that the hiring manager will appreciate it.
4. LinkedIn Lets You Research Prospective Employers
LinkedIn can be used to research prospective employers. Many job seekers wonder if using social networks like Facebook and Twitter during a job search is acceptable, but social networks are becoming an essential recruiting tool for companies.
On LinkedIn, you can learn more about the company that’s interviewing you–whether that’s the company culture, which you’ll be working with, even whether you want that job at all.
Some employers are more active on LinkedIn versus their company website when sharing information about new hires or highlighting employees.
You may also be able to connect with some of your prospective co-workers beforehand, which is a bonus! LinkedIn is one of the best tools for prospecting and B2B sales. In addition to LinkedIn’s infamous “InMail,” which allows you to send email messages directly to people who are not in your network, it will enable you to view people’s profiles without an introduction.
This lets you up-and-coming research industries, organizations, and business leaders. And because many LinkedIn users link to their websites and blogs, finding one may give you additional insight about a potential employer. LinkedIn is known for being a haven of self-promotion, but it’s also an effective tool to help you land a job.
In addition to having a strong LinkedIn profile, it helps to use the site to research prospective employers and fellow candidates. We’ll show you how to get started on LinkedIn and get the most out of this popular career networking site with some unique tips and tools. LinkedIn has been the premier social network for business professionals for nearly a decade already.
It started as a promising business networking platform comparable to Facebook and Twitter. But now, it is not just about business. LinkedIn’s users have grown to include job seekers, service providers like recruiters, and even those looking to stay connected with their friends and family members.
5. LinkedIn Helps You Connect with Alumni from Your College
LinkedIn is the best tool you can use to connect with alumni from your college. Of course, you should be using LinkedIn’s features for connecting with everyone in your contacts. However, for specifically connecting with alumni in your area of interest from college — you’ll want to use LinkedIn’s features to search for your alma mater and then create a group for fellow alumni active on LinkedIn.
Then take it a step further and connect with them on LinkedIn — ask them about their career path and gain some valuable insight while making critical connections at the same time! If you’re not using LinkedIn as an effective tool to network and meet potential customers, then you’re missing out. An astounding 54% of professionals report that they found a job through LinkedIn.
How to Create Your LinkedIn Profile (and Mistakes to Avoid)
Use a Professional Picture
It’s true: first impressions are essential. When someone sees your LinkedIn profile, they will form an opinion of you within the first few seconds. If it’s an inappropriate picture or some lazily-written headline (like the examples below), that opinion might not be so great.
Here are a few tips to ensure your LinkedIn profile gets the best possible first impression for recruiters and future employees/colleagues.
Your LinkedIn Profile doesn’t have to be perfect, but we should at least strive to get to “pretty good” if we want even a slight chance of being seen by future employers, colleagues, etc. These people consider your Linkedin profile before hiring you, even if they never contact you.
Design your profile around your picture, not your title. Whenever you include a link in the top header of your email signature (which I highly recommend), make sure the colors and fonts are the same in both places.
Write Your Intro
You don’t need to worry about it being 100% complete because it isn’t a resume. In an article by The Ladders, they explain, “what LinkedIn does is more like a job search than a resume.
Job seekers have long considered LinkedIn to be more akin to Google than Facebook, meaning that users are as interested in finding opportunities to advance their careers as they are in friending coworkers and families.” whether you are a practitioner, an accountant, or a business analyst.
To make sure that you can build a good portfolio of your past work in the future after you prepare your LinkedIn profile, here is what you should put on your LinkedIn profile.