Studies show over half of college students are either unemployed or underemployed. Despite this, 46% of college students are not using LinkedIn. College students should be using LinkedIn to access and receive alerts on job listings, but there are many other reasons too:
Today, Linkedin is the first step to acquire a professional identity online. LinkedIn introduces you to the professional world. As of January this year, LinkedIn reported having over 200 million members as part of the network, giving college students access to countless job and networking opportunities. Most hiring managers are using social media and LinkedIn as a key recruiting tool. If your profile is not there,you don’t exist professionally and are virtually out of the game. Not being on Linkedin might also make students seem uninformed, uninterested or not social media savvy.
Even if college students feel they don’t have much professional experience to build a LinkedIn profile like that of a seasoned professional, LinkedIn has plenty of sections where college students can document their academic milestones and extracurricular activities, such as volunteering. By completing and updating this information, the students’ network will know when they graduate and enter the job market and can keep track their progress.
Even if a student has zero experience, LinkedIn has features that will help build their online professional brand. They can do this by giving their network a sense of who they are professionally through what they post on their status updates or in the discussions in the groups they join within the network.
For example: a hiring manager looking for a marketing intern will surely be drawn to a candidate who shares interesting market articles or insights online. Even if the student has limited professional experience, this shows the student is staying updated and is eager to learn.
Networking & Connecting
Networking and building professional relationships online takes time. Even if still at college and not interested in finding a job just yet, students can start joining and forming groups, connecting with fellow students, professors and mentors. The more connections they make, the more chances they have to develop a solid network, recommendations and great job opportunities in the future.
If a college student has future plans to attend graduate school, there are many ways they can connect and follow schools, professors, grad students and future graduate school groups using LinkedIn too.
LinkedIn groups are a wonderful place for learning. With over 1,248,019 groups as of March 2012, a student may join groups related to specific careers interests and benefit from insights from season professionals in a particular field or industry they are interested in. Moreover, some students are not sure their choice of major is right for them and being exposed to information about a given field can help them make up their minds or evaluate other options.
Research & Target
One of the best ways to conduct company research and a targeted job search is via LinkedIn. The network not only allows you to find out more about the company itself, but helps you zero down on specific key contacts within the company.
For college students thinking about attending grad school abroad or pursuing a global career, LinkedIn helps them connect globally. LinkedIn has members worldwide with representation in more than 200 countries and territories. They serve members in 19 languages around the world.
Can you think of other ways LinkedIn can help college students’ job search? Share them in the comments below!