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Five Ways LinkedIn Can Be Used By College Students

A college student creating a LinkedIn account on their iPad.

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 1:51pm

Should College Students Invest in a LinkedIn Account? Absolutely! 

LinkedIn seems to be one of the most forgotten social media accounts for college students. Yet, it’s important to see it for what it is – an opportunity for you to build your career-relevant network one connection at a time. Every college student with plans to pursue a professional career needs a network of like-minded professionals to help explore industries, get recommendations and keep an eye out for career opportunities. And there’s no better way to build that network than with a LinkedIn social media account.

How Can You Use a LinkedIn Account in College?
The belief that LinkedIn is meant to be used only by current professionals is a myth and one that could cost you if you don’t invest time into it now. Don’t wait until you walk across the stage with your diploma to only then start thinking about your professional network. College students can use LinkedIn in a number of ways right now to build their professional networks. Take a look at a few key recommendations to help you build a strong LinkedIn profile.

#1: Create Connections
Connect with professionals in your field. This gives you the ability to gain industry insight as well as details on industry changes and innovations. It can also open the door to career opportunities down the road. Connect with people at your school and within your industry as a starting point. Look for alumni groups or associations as well to help build your network.

#2: Gather Endorsements and Recommendations
Once you start making connections, you can begin to gain some recognition. Have colleagues, classmates, and professors offer endorsements for your skills. In some cases, a well-written recommendation from a professor or individual you have worked with in the field can open up career opportunities down the line. LinkedIn gives you the ability to build a strong social media path towards career connections later.

#3: Brand Yourself
Your LinkedIn profile can serve as a type of branding tool for you. Are you passionate about your career choice? Perhaps you are interested in the latest innovations and technology within it. Using LinkedIn, you can share your thoughts, insights to specific topics, and things that interest you. Later, when you are applying for positions, this will become a fantastic way to show would-be employers that you’re on top of the latest industry trends and insights.

#4: Listen, Learn, and Grow
LinkedIn offers a variety of business associations and industry-focused groups. This is an excellent place to learn and grow your own skill set. You can even use it as a way to enhance what you are learning at school. When you do, you are sure to expand what you know, but also what those working in the industry see firsthand. It can even open doors for you to get into focus groups, research studies, and educational programs.

#5: Find a Job
You might be spending a lot of time thinking about where you will work once you graduate or looking for internship opportunities now.  LinkedIn is an excellent resource for making connections for specific careers and open positions. In fact, The Recruiter National Survey from Jobvite found that 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn social media as a part of their recruitment process. LinkedIn should be a component of your job-hunting process, not just to apply for the job, but also to make connections with industry-relevant professional who could recommend you in the future. They could also help connect you with their networks, as you begin to pop up in the news feeds and notifications of their LinkedIn connections. For LinkedIn success, college students need to focus on networking as soon as possible.

University of the Cumberlands is dedicated to making sure its future graduates are prepared for their chosen profession. The truth is, no matter where your college life takes you, you should invest in your LinkedIn profile now to create a path towards your professional career. Your future self will thank you!