While many students have Facebook and Twitter accounts, LinkedIn is often ignored. The professional networking site is actually a great resource for the college crowd. Some students question why they should open a LinkedIn account in addition to Facebook or Twitter accounts.
Here are three reasons why all students should have a LinkedIn:
- Network with people you wouldn’t normally have contact with. When signing up, you can join groups such as BUPRSSA, and connect with professionals who are already working in the field you are thinking about entering. You can contact professionals to ask questions, see where they are working, and get involved with various companies and organizations.
- Organize your information. Through LinkedIn, all of your resume information is online. Rather than carrying a portfolio or writing samples, you can load them onto LinkedIn and present them at interviews. Even if you aren’t applying to jobs, it’s great to have this information electronically accessible and updated. You can also copy and paste this information on online applications for jobs or when applying to graduate programs so you don’t need to type it again.
- Find Jobs and Internships that aren’t posted elsewhere. Because you are subscribing to certain networks and groups, many postings aren’t available to those who are not accepted to these groups. This gives you exclusive access to opportunities that you otherwise may have missed.
If these three reasons do not convince you, here’s another: Your LinkedIn profile includes a professional picture of you for employers and people within your network to see. Creating this online identity will enhance your chances at succeeding in your field and help you define career goals and a direction. Employers will see your face, and pictures help people associate with a person.
So what are you waiting for? Check out www.linkedin.com and create a profile today. I mean really, you were probably just in your dorm room eating ramen and procrastinating by reading this blog. Create a profile!