One of the biggest myths about college is the belief that a degree can guarantee you will have a successful career. But the truth is, you can graduate with flying colors and still struggle to find a job if you don’t prepare for what’s ahead.
Building a career takes planning and many careful steps along the way. One of the things that you can do to start preparing for a future great career is to slowly build your professional brand on LinkedIn while you are still in college.
How College Students Can Benefit from Using LinkedIn
LinkedIn is such a powerful tool that if you are going to choose just one online profile, it should be on this platform. According to the platform, over 200,000 students join every month, and this impressive figure tells you that these students are on to something.
The benefits of using LinkedIn go beyond making connections and creating an online presence. Your profile is like a live resume that does much of the networking for you. Aside from these perks, here are some of the other features that students can utilize from LinkedIn:
Whether you are looking for a part-time job, internship, or simply want to be in the know on who is hiring at the moment, you can set up job alerts on LinkedIn and be notified of new open positions in your industry.
Learning more about an organization can easily be done on the platform. This gives you a peek into what is new in the industry, typical hiring processes, and even company reviews.
Connecting with industry experts who can be a potential mentor for you is easily done. Since LinkedIn is a professional networking site, you can quickly connect with business leaders and professionals from whom you can learn.
How to Use LinkedIn for Career Preparation
If you are new to LinkedIn or do not have an account yet, here are 5 things that you can start working on to make LinkedIn work to your advantage.
Complete Your Profile
While not a LinkedIn requirement, completing your profile can give you a better online job search experience. You can receive targeted job recommendations based on the education and list of interests you placed on your profile. This helps you save time and you only get job recommendations that are relevant to you.
Upload your Online Resume
Uploading your resume on LinkedIn helps increase your employability level as this step makes it easier for recruiters to see if you would be a good fit. It’s important to take the time to know how to add your resume to LinkedIn.
Join your University Alumni Group
Connecting with your alma mater’s network allows you to form relationships with fellow students and college alumni so you can stay updated on where they have gotten job offers. You can also check with the alumni to determine if any of their companies are hiring and request a reference. Aside from staying in touch, these connections can greatly leverage your professional network.
Get and Give Recommendations
Try to get LinkedIn recommendations from mentors, fellow students, and even from your teachers. These serve as virtual references from other people in the industry and can help strengthen your profile. The more recommendations that you get, will show that more people find you credible and trustworthy in your chosen field. Don’t forget to reciprocate and give others recommendations as well.
Update Your Profile Regularly
Since your LinkedIn account will continue to work to your advantage so make sure to update your profile often with recent training, certifications, and awards.
LinkedIn is a great platform for college students to help them create a blueprint for a successful career. Like any tool, you need to put in effort for it to generate visible results, and preparation is essential. This is where you will see what one is willing to do to set himself apart and how far he is willing to go to achieve his goals.
About the Author: Amanda Morris is a writer and a contributor. Her works are specifically geared towards providing information for students that can help them with their fields and their journey to career development.