Why You Should Be on LinkedIn

By Kathryn Cambrea

Graphic created by Kathryn Cambrea

  • Grow your network.

This is absolutely crucial. As college students, we should begin to grow our networks if we haven’t already. This is applicable to LinkedIn as well as any way that we choose to further our careers. In an article titled, “How to Network from Home” from The New York Times, author Julie Weed writes, “In fact, the time to invest in your network is when you least need it, so by the time you do require assistance, you have created a strong support system.” You never know who could be of value to you in your network. This includes professors, coworkers, classmates, current and former employers, prominent people in your chosen field, and more. Also, you should never stop growing your network. By creating a LinkedIn account and making your first connections, you are planting a seed. Continue to feed that network with people within the career you want to pursue. As you continue on your career exploration journey, you will only meet more people, and your network will inevitably grow. 

  • Locate job and internship opportunities. 

When signed into your LinkedIn account, click on the tab labeled, “Jobs.” From there, you can use key words such as a company name or skill as well as specific location information such as your zip code to find jobs near you. Continue to refine your search with the filters of LinkedIn. For instance, you can narrow down the jobs that pop up to internships and select if you would prefer a remote internship. You could also find internships within a certain distance from your home, and see which opportunities are looking for people with your skill set based on your profile. You can even apply to internships through LinkedIn.

  • Establish your platform in the job world.

Why else would you be on LinkedIn? This tip goes hand in hand with the first tip. Evidently, you want people in your network, especially those within the same industry as you, to remember who you are. Reaching out to them, even if it is to simply connect, is a huge step. If you choose to frequently post on LinkedIn, this could help. Your profile plays another role in this as well. It may appear in someone else’s feed, and he/she may initiate in asking to connect with you first. In fact, people may search for or click on your profile, and many times, you can see who does. According to LinkedIn Pressroom, “With more than 20 million professionals using LinkedIn search every week, these insights can help you understand where opportunities are coming from so that you can better optimize your profile to get connected to a new job or other professional opportunities.” Every job and internship you have will be on your LinkedIn profile; your profile is associated with your school as well as any place you ever worked at. This maximizes the chances of people locating your profile. And you never know who could!

  • Showcase your work and credentials.

On LinkedIn, I like to treat my profile like my resume. Describe your internship experience as well as tasks you complete or completed. It is important to have every job or internship you have ever had listed. This shows your credentials to anyone who visits your profile. Another component I love about LinkedIn is how you can attach your own work to your profile. LinkedIn allows you to add “Accomplishments,” and there are multiple subcategories, such as “Awards” and “Publications.” I aim to add the links to every published article I have written to LinkedIn. It is one thing on my profile to say that I have written articles, but to have them there not only proves what I have written, but makes the publications easily accessible to people who may need to see them, such as a future employer.

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