Nearly every student in the country will have a Facebook or a Twitter account, but not everyone considers the importance of having a LinkedIn profile in their repertoire. This social media platform is great for making connections with potential employers and for learning more about the sorts of skills you may need in order to further your career. This article highlights 5 of the key reasons why students should start getting in on LinkedIn:
1. First impressions
You’ve sent an application to a job. They want to know more about the person behind the cover letter. LinkedIn is the perfect way to give a solid first impression before even being invited for an interview. You can build a personal brand, write blogs on things you find interesting and really give an idea of your personality- all in a professional manner. This can be really important for small businesses, for example, when it’s important to know that you’re going to fit in with current organisational culture.
2. Turn LinkedIn friendships into careers
LinkedIn can open your eyes to the potential of recommendations. You can check out where your friends have worked or are working, and if the job is right for you and available, ask them to put a good word in. A lot of people don’t realise the power of someone’s trust in their colleague, and this trust can often be the tipping point between a hire and a rejection.
3. Company/Field research
If you’ve been called for an interview, and you don’t have as much information on the employer or position as you would like- check out their LinkedIn. You can look at the employees and their levels of skill, their blog posts to see what they truly value, and can connect with or follow them in order to keep right up to date in the lead up to your interview. Knowing some of the finer details is one of the best ways to show an employer that you are invested and interested in what they do.
4. More than a boring Curriculum Vitae
It can sometimes be hard to make your CV stand out from the crowd, or have it say everything you want it to say. However, LinkedIn gives you the chance to put not only your work experience but also allows others to endorse you for skills you may have. You can share the things you care about in the world (e.g. animals or the environment) rather than just saying you enjoy reading in a tiny section of your CV. Again, this can help build your personal brand and give a more developed picture of what you can do.
5. Job search
Lastly, LinkedIn is a great place to look for potential jobs, internships and work placements. Employers post jobs on their pages all the time, from local councils to large multinationals, so it can’t hurt to have them all in one place. You can follow your dream employers to keep up with their job posts and you can have LinkedIn recommend jobs for you based on your experience and interests. All in all it is one of the best ways to match potential employee with employer.
If you are a student right now and you haven’t yet set up a LinkedIn, do it now! It won’t take long until you have a completed account and then the working world is your oyster.