Linkedin is the largest online professional social network. The site currently has over 200 million members and more individuals continue to join every day.
College students are joining Linkedin by the thousands. In fact, it is almost a requirement to have a Linkedin profile in today’s job market. It has become a way to brand yourself online so that professionals will look at your Linkedin profile instead of your Facebook or Twitter page. It is a great framework that will look appealing to potential employers. Linkedin has accommodated the influx of students by having a special “student portal” that is designed specifically for one target audience: college students. It allows them to add special classes that pertain to their field of interest, upload projects and add organizations they participated in during college.
Companies have begun to use LinkedIn as a marketing channel to recruit and reach college students. Organizations and companies go on LinkedIn and look for applicants to fill internships or entry level positions that can be filled by college students. After they find a suitable candidate, they invite the student to apply for these positions in their company. Finding and obtaining a job via Linkedin is not unheard of and is becoming increasingly more popular.
So how can a college student ensure that their profile will be viewed in a professional manner? Fear not, because Forbes magazine has compiled a list called “14 Steps to Improve Your Linkedin Presence in 2014”.
- Update your photo
- Craft a killer headline
- Revisit your summary
- Insert a call to action in your profile
- Join 50 groups
- Connect with all of your current clients
- Share a relevant status update between 11am and 3pm each workday
- Find your most relevant group and get involved
- Download your network database
- Save your best advanced people searches
- Maximize your professional gallery
- Use the alumni search feature to expand your network
- Manage your skills and expertise section
- Pursue recommendations
By professionally participating in Linkedin, students have the opportunity to actively engage with potential job opportunities. Companies are using the social networking site as a new and innovative communication channel in order to reach out to potential employees. They are able to go beyond their personal connections and reach out to people from all over the world. LinkedIn is a way to professionally “brand” yourself online to potential employers and create the framework needed to land an interview. If you have the right brand, you just might land your dream job.
-Anna Joy Zima