So, it’s like Facebook but for a job, right? Kind of, but not quite. LinkedIn is an important resource not only for those in the career world, but those want to be in the career world. LinkedIn opened up a world of options and career paths that I never knew existed. I was even able to delve further into company research. Before joining the platform, I had no direct access to recruiters, job openings and unlimited career tips. The only problem I see is the lack of students using LinkedIn to their advantage. Of course, there are some, typically business students, who are LinkedIn pros, but what about the computer science majors, pre-medical students or even the students who just don’t update their profile? Keep reading to find out my top four reasons that you should have a LinkedIn profile and keep it updated:
- It’s free! College student and free basically go together, am I right? LinkedIn is a free web-application just like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. For free, LinkedIn provides you with a virtual network, access to news regarding your favorite companies and suggests jobs for you based on your profile! LinkedIn Premium does have a fee but allows you to compare your profile, create a career plan and use educational tool. I personally stick to the basic LinkedIn and have found so much success.
- Expand the one page! If your resume is over one page, it’s time for some restructuring. However, LinkedIn gets a pass. Think of LinkedIn as a master resume where you can add any job experience, awards/honors, certifications and even a summary all about you and your goals. Keep your page updated every semester and with every accomplishment to keep your profile as relevant and current as possible. Take this opportunity to create your brag sheet and share your academic and professional achievements that make you the perfect job candidate.
- Increase your search-ability! Research says that 80% of employers will google candidates names. So, if an employer googles your name, would you rather your Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn profile show up first? Creating a profile and keeping it updated increases the chance that your LinkedIn profile will show up first when someone googles your name. For example, my profile is the second link when I google my name meaning employers will be more likely to see my professional life before finding my social media pages.
- Recruiting season never ends! Recruiters and hiring managers live and thrive on LinkedIn. The platform is the new go-to for finding new talent. Why wouldn’t they when they’re next top employee could be only a search away. My theory is that high achievers are more likely to create and thoroughly maintain a LinkedIn profile. This would then lead to having more interests from recruiters and hiring managers. Remember, jobs open all the time so keeping your page up to date allows recruiters to keep you in their potential applicant pool.
Now there are way more than four reasons for you to jumpstart your professional development with a LinkedIn profile, but these are just a few of my favorites. Establishing your professional goals can never start too early and can always adapt to changes throughout your college years. Add your tips for securing internships, jobs and positions in the comments below!