When it started in 2003, the social network LinkedIn was a resource for middle-aged professionals networking for employment opportunities. Ten years later, LinkedIn has over 200 million users and 20 million of those are students and recent college grads, making us the fastest-growing demographic on the site.
So, why aren’t you creating an account already? And if you already have, why aren’t you using it enough? If you are on LinkedIn and using it, I am going to assume that you are reading this post because you had a bad day and you need to ensure yourself that yes, you are doing something right in your life. Keep doing what you’re doing, kid.
Why LinkedIn? Why Not?
Looking for an internship for the summer or next semester? You may think you’ve applied to every place you could think of in the Greater Boston Area or in your home state, but a simple search on LinkedIn can yield several more opportunities. Even if you aren’t interested in an internship, LinkedIn offers students a look at potential career paths and gives insight as to how to reach their aspirations.
Endless Connection Opportunities and Resources
Nowadays, LinkedIn is the best way to network. Aside from those 200 million personal profiles, 2.7 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages and every Fortune 500 company CEO has their own profile. Granted, you’ll have to whittle all of these profiles down to the ones you are looking for– connect with friends and co-workers by searching for them by name, or find people with common skills and expertise through the groups you join. LinkedIn also offers resources such as personalized news, and tips to improve your profile.
Give Employers Something to Talk About
LinkedIn extends your job or internship hunt every time and also sets you apart from the candidate pool. Your profile brings you to life, from the courses you are currently taking to volunteer experiences and causes you care about. It also gives students an online presence aside from Facebook (it’s in everyone’s best interest if you privatize that spring break album) that is professional and easy to access.
A cover letter and resumé aren’t going to cut it anymore. As current employment strategies increasingly become obsolete, LinkedIn is working to meet student and recent graduate needs now more than ever. So sign up, beautify that profile, and get to work! (In the literal sense, too!)
Need advice as to what to place on your LinkedIn profile? Stop by the Center for Career Development at 100 Bay State Road with any questions. While you’re there, get your resumé checked out as well.