If you’re starting to think of careering ahead or simply exploring your options, it’s probably about time you join the worlds biggest professional network. Here are 6 reasons why you should get a LinkedIn profile. Like, now.
The definition of LinkedIn is a professional networking site. It offers you a pool of people already working away in the area of your dreams. And you know what, a few years ago all those people were just like you: sipping midnight lattes while getting that last essay paragraph finished as students or trying to figure out where to go and what to do next as graduates. They know all the tips and tricks of how to get in the field, all you need to do is ask.
Tip from my personal experience: LinkedIn is extremely useful when I’m writing a cover letter and need to find a person responsible for hiring to address the letter to. LinkedIn lets you know who posts job ads for companies and has a directory of all the employees and their job descriptions.
2. Be seen by employers
Increasingly more companies are using LinkedIn to check out potential applicants for a job or even to hire. Not having a LinkedIn account in the professional world is like not having Facebook in the real world; two words: social suicide.
Also, by following companies of your interest, commenting on the content they share and being active in groups you will come across as someone truly knowledgeable of the industry.
3. Connect with coursemates
It’s always useful to keep in touch with your coursemates and track their process. Through LinkedIn you can see what companies they’re interested in, what jobs they are going after and better understand what other options are available to you with your degree.
What is more, LinkedIn has a recommendation system where you can endorse the skills of your connections. Having worked on group projects with your coursemates should be great opportunity for you to evaluate each others teamwork, presentation and communication skills and enhance your professional profiles.
4. Create your portfolio
LinkedIn has a great feature that allows you to showcase your work. For example, in my third year I was doing a Magazine Publishing module where me and a group of 6 others produced a university magazine. Through LinkedIn an online version of the magazine is available on my profile to give potential employers an example of what I can do.
Also, if you have limited work experience you can list all the projects you have worked on at university or college, providing those who are interested in hiring you an outline of your previous experiences.
5. Enhance your industry knowledge
LinkedIn has hundreds of groups, where professionals from all around the world share knowledge and opinions. Whether you want to work in business, marketing or IT, there will be a group for you to get the latest industry news and insights.
6. Find the right companies
I found the site to be invaluable when it comes to finding companies I’m interested in as I use it as one big directory. You can choose your job sector, set the location and determine the size of the organisation. Yes, it could be time-consuming as there are literally hundreds of options to choose from but it was through LinkedIn that I found most of the companies that I am truly passionate about.