There's a lot of confusion related to LinkedIn. Some people see it as a social media network, like Facebook, while others view it as a job board. Both assumptions are correct, to a certain extent but, unlike Facebook, LinkedIn is more geared towards professionals and unlike most job boards, LinkedIn does more than just allow you to search for opening.
In our opinion, LinkedIn is an invaluable resource for students but to help convince you, here are the top five reasons why every student should be on LinkedIn:
1. To build a strong network or professional contacts
Getting ahead in any career is as much as you know, as it is about what you know. Start by connecting with your peers and your university lecturers, then branch out into the industry that you want to work in. You never know when to come in handy and the bigger your network.
2. To get job alerts
While LinkedIn is about much more than just searching for jobs, it is still incredibly useful when it comes to finding your next position - which makes LinkedIn particularly useful for students. You can program LinkedIn to send you job alerts for certain companies, industries or job titles so that you will never miss out on a great opportunity again.
3. Let the companies find you
These days, when you apply for a job, your prospective employer will no doubt conduct internet search into you. Students often get a bad rap about their social media presence, so by having a LinkedIn account as a student, you can show an entirely different (and more professional!) Side to yourself. Having a LinkedIn account allows you to find yourself.
4. PREPARE FOR INTERVIEWS
Interviews are always nerve-wracking but by having an account on LinkedIn, you can feel as prepared as possible.
5. To prove your dedication
Having a LinkedIn account as a student proves that you are dedicated to pursuing a career. By being specific in your summary and connecting with people in the field that you are in your chosen career.
Tips for creating a LinkedIn profile as a student:
• Use a professional profile picture.
• Join groups and follow companies that you share an interest in.
• Do not forget to complete your profile! Use it as an extended CV and include as many people in the workplace as possible.
• Join LinkedIn in your first year of university.
• Start building up a strong network as soon as you have completed your profile. Do not just leave your account sitting dormant, make the most of it and start building those all-important connections!
Shannon Clark writes for Inspiring Interns, which specializes in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobs . You can find more of her work at www.shannonlclark.com and www.sweetserendipityblog.co.uk .
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