So, you probably know LinkedIn is a social media networking channel. You may even have an account and profile set up because someone said it’s a good idea, but what is LinkedIn and why is it worth getting on there?
LinkedIn is a social networking channel just like Instagram, SnapChat and Facebook but it’s a professional networking channel – the largest of its kind in the world. You might think that you don’t need a LinkedIn account until you’ve left college and you’re working. Wrong.
The lower age limit for a LinkedIn account is 13 so it’s worth getting on there now and here’s why:
If you’re thinking about going to university there are loads of university pages on LinkedIn which will help you find out more about the university and what it might be like to go there. You’ll also get the chance to network online with students and graduates who have studied there.
If you’re not sure about your career next steps, you might decide to use LinkedIn to get some insight into the kinds of jobs and industries you think you might want to work in. Compare different roles, see what people working in those industries are saying and who they are networked with. It can also be useful to see the roles people have progressed through to reach their current positions so you can get an idea about where they started out and the qualifications they have.
If you’ve got ideas for your own business, LinkedIn could be a great place to test them out, do some networking, ask what other think. There are lots of entrepreneurial, role related or industry specific groups on Linked In that you could join.
If you’re looking for roles in specific companies, look for them on LinkedIn. Follow their company pages to keep an eye on new opportunities. Use LinkedIn company pages (in addition to their websites) to check out employers before you apply for roles or go for interviews.
Don’t forget to link with everyone you meet at careers fairs or employer sessions at your college and elsewhere. You just never know when those links might prove useful.
If you’ve bought into the idea that networking is key to your future career success (and it most definitely is) then you’ll see the value of using LinkedIn.
Just one last thing. Treat your LinkedIn profile content with as much care as you would your CV. Don’t have a half-finished profile there, check it for spelling and grammar, make sure its factually correct….and then get on with maximising all that LinkedIn can offer.