As the popular Bob Dylan song goes, the times, they are a-changin'.
Students and graduates no longer need to stand in long queues, endure the summer heat or incur travel expenses to find a job. With technology and social media sites like LinkedIn, you can get recruiters or employers to contact you directly. You can even get found while you’re asleep.
Although you can use LinkedIn to search for jobs that you want or companies you’d like to work for, most of the time, you don’t need to look for them -- instead, recruiters or employers are the ones who will come find you.
LinkedIn gained popularity as a domain for professionals. With connections to form, jobs to apply to, and resumes to update, it could be natural for a college student to think that this networking portal can be kept for later. However, today's increased reliance on online portals of knowledge and education means new opportunities have sprung up in unexpected places. From using Netflix for learning to pursuing virtual internships, students can advance their career aspirations with nothing more than a strong internet connection and a device.
Considering the excellent benefits that connecting with professionals on LinkedIn brings, college students can never ignore this social networking website. Your networking on LinkedIn should begin as early as possible because it can help you find jobs as soon as you graduate from college.
Given below are some key tips on how college students should use LinkedIn and how they can reap maximum benefits by connecting with professionals on this social networking website.
LinkedIn Learning is available only to Premium subscribers, but having access to hundreds of courses is worth the LinkedIn Premium Career subscription.
You can choose courses from these three broad categories: Business, Creative or Technology.
You can either take individual courses or enroll in the whole Learning Path, which is a series of relevant individual courses that can help you upgrade your skills towards specializing in a broad topic.
The LinkedIn Alumni Page
Imagine having the ability to contact or connect with any of your fellow alumni. It's possible through LinkedIn!
To go to the alumni page, you can either search your school on the search box or click on the university in the Education section of your profile. Either way, you'd be directed to your Alumni Page. Just make sure to choose ALUMNI on the options on the left tab.
Use the Alumni Tool as your research tool to find the perfect person to reach out to, whether you're looking into getting hired at a particular company, or you're looking into building a relationship with a mentor. Try it!
Finding the right job can sometimes feel like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack. One action you can take to help is to share your career interests, which in turn helps LinkedIn personalize job recommendations for you.
You can access your career interests directly from the dashboard on your LinkedIn Profile, or the Jobs tab.
Here you can also turn on Open Candidates to privately signal you’re open to a new opportunity. This can help you show up 2x more in searches by recruiters, and ensure they see the types of roles you want.
Career Advice Hub
Sign up on Career Advice to receive professional advice from those who signed up to give advice. LinkedIn will then match you -- as someone seeking advice -- with those willing to advise on your selected themes.
Take this opportunity to learn from your fellow professionals. It's always great to feel that you're not alone in your journey and that someone somewhere is willing to help remove the roadblocks for you. Besides, you never know what other opportunities can transpire from your conversations.
Joining groups on LinkedIn can help you further your knowledge of areas you are interested in, and amplify the connections and opportunities you have. You can start by looking for groups of professionals related to the field you’re interested in. Next, engage with posts on these groups that interest you – ask questions, post content, and join discussions. This will expose you to more details about the fields you are interested in, and bring you in contact with professionals. You could potentially find a new job or internship opportunity by creating a connection.
LinkedIn also offers a feature through which you can get other people to recommend you. People with a maximum number of recommendations have a great chance of attracting employers’ attention. College students too can try to get as many recommendations as possible to increase their employability.
Ask managers, professors, or classmates who've worked with you closely to write a recommendation. This gives extra credibility to your strengths and skills.
LinkedIn has evolved a lot since it was founded in 2003. As you can see, LinkedIn is more than just a job portal. It's a portal to all kinds of opportunities that can take your career to the next level.
So take advantage of this platform to empower yourself to go from where you are to where you want to be. Use LinkedIn to grow among the people who stand where you ‘aspire to be.’