While in college, students worry about having enough money for tuition, what to major in, finding time to study, and passing mid-terms and finals. Having a LinkedIn page is probably far from their mind. But it shouldn’t be! LinkedIn is a valuable tool in their arsenal for helping them to establish their career.
It is important to remember that LinkedIn is your professional face to the business world. It is not like Facebook or YouTube. Don’t post goofy pictures, be silly, or say inappropriate things. Put your best foot forward. You are creating your own personal branding and this is your sales letter (about you) to future employers and to the world.
With that in mind, here are 11 reasons why every student needs to join LinkenIn:
- Build your professional network. It’s never too early to start building a network with people in your career area. Start by linking to classmates who are in your major. While they are friends and classmates now, in the future they become business referrals. Ask professors who are in LinkedIn to write a recommendation for you. Linking to professors ensure that you will stay connected to them after you graduate. This could be beneficial.
- Check out career paths. Find people who are in LinkedIn who are already employed in your desired profession. Check out their profiles to see what they have done to become successful. See if you can incorporate something from their career path into yours.
- Prepare for interviews. When you have a job or internship interview, review the profile of the person who will interview you. Having this background knowledge during the interview will help impress the interviewer.
- Get referrals. Networking is all about who you know and who those people know. If there is someone in LinkedIn that you would like to meet, ask a mutual acquaintance to for an introduction.
- Land internships or jobs while in school. Is there a company that you would like to work for or an internship that interests you? LinkedIn can help you find a common connection to someone at that place of business.
- Gain connections from conference attendees. When you meet new acquaintances at a conference that you attend as a student, chances are you do not have a business card to share. Nor do other students. LinkedIn is the perfect place to maintain a connection to those people once you have returned back to school.