Hey you, use LinkedIn

LinkedIn logo.

As you progress in your professional journey, you will need tools to accompany you along the way. One of the best professional tools is the professional networking site, LinkedIn. Owned by Microsoft, LinkedIn is one of the most comprehensive sites that helps professionals across the globe connect and recruit. As you begin your professional journey, creating and sustaining a presence on LinkedIn is critical in helping recruiters find and get to know you, and hopefully help you get hired. The mechanisms within LinkedIn make it extremely convenient for college students, as we all look to enter the workforce. I hope by the end of this article, you will see just how important LinkedIn is to your professional development. 

Oftentimes, people ask me, “Why do I even need LinkedIn?” The simple answer is that recruiters across the United States, and the rest of the world, use LinkedIn to view candidates and find new employees. If you apply for a job, they may ask you for your LinkedIn, and even if they don’t, your recruiter may try and find you on Linkedin. It is for that reason that having and maintaining an active LinkedIn profile is critical in progressing your professional career. 

The most common thing I hear people say when I ask them if they have LinkedIn is, “I don’t need it,” or, “I’ll make it when I’m a senior in college.” I was once one of those people, and the thought of a professional networking site intimidated me as I was beginning my college years. As I began to use it and get to know it, I saw how easy it was to connect with people in my field and learn more about companies I may consider applying to. Although you think you might not need it yet, the reality is that it truly is never too early to start. Create a profile, get a professional photograph, upload your resume; all of these things are critical in creating a LinkedIn profile, so that eventually you’ll land that dream job.

LinkedIn is extremely helpful for many reasons, but one of the main reasons is it allows you to contact recruiters directly without having to hope they see your application. When you apply for a job, your application is one of hundreds or thousands, so reaching out on LinkedIn is one of the best ways to stand out. If you want to make a strong impact, have a professional profile picture and confidently reach out to a recruiter if you are very interested in a job. Be sure to sound interested, but not desperate. Showing your interest is one of the best ways to increase your chances of landing a job.

LinkedIn is super easy to navigate and allows posting like any other social media. Updating your LinkedIn regularly is an easy way to catch the eye of a recruiter. If you have an interview with someone, try to find them on LinkedIn before the interview. When you view a profile, LinkedIn alerts users that you have viewed their profile. Viewing the profile of an interviewer before the interview is an easy way to show that you are doing your research; by doing this, you show that you take initiative and are interested in the job. Using LinkedIn is easy and anyone can benefit from it. Whether you are interested in medicine, business, law or any other career, LinkedIn has professionals from every career choice. Nearly every company, large or small, has a presence on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is extremely helpful, particularly if you are new to the job search. You can apply directly to jobs and see current employees. If you find a current employee who is an alumnus of your university, it may be smart to reach out and voice your interest. Alumni are often extremely helpful and willing to help out students who went to their university. If you use LinkedIn properly, you may find extremely amazing connections that you otherwise may not have found. Soon, you might find yourself scrolling LinkedIn more than Instagram.

 

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