Many students see LinkedIn as “just another social network”, however I have discovered it is quite different. I have seen the benefits that LinkedIn provides first-hand, with companies contacting me directly about my interests and with details of internships they were offering.
Many people associate LinkedIn as a job hunting tool but it is much more than that! Here’s what makes LinkedIn the top professional social network for students:
- LinkedIn is a platform that allows you to showcase your skills, interests and previous work experience (a bit like an online CV but slightly more detailed and professionally focussed) where you can display work that you have done whether it be in an academic setting or for a professional company, for example work on a website or producing a video etc.
- LinkedIn allows you to connect with past and present employers, colleagues, and friends so you can keep up to date with all the latest news, such as what’s happening at your previous workplace (maybe if you were there on placement or an internship?) Colleagues have the opportunity to endorse your skills displayed on your profile, they can also leave a recommendation about you this will let people looking at your profile know what kind of person you are, what you are like to work with and the kind of work you produce etc.
- LinkedIn also provides you with the opportunity to follow a number of companies in a variety of different industries – for example I recently added Red Bull, BAE Systems, Google and Apple. The latest company news will then come on your feed and you can also get the latest job vacancies too.
- LinkedIn has a specific section that allows you to search for jobs – many filters can be applied to the lists so you can find exactly what you’re looking for. For example, you can search on job title in a specific area but there are also options to add salary details and specific company names, but these are optional.
- The Groups function is extremely useful and an interesting resource that allows you to join groups related to areas that you are interested in and discuss issues/experiences with like-minded professionals. It may come in handy for research purposes or projects, no matter if they are academic, professional or personal. You can keep up to date with the latest developments within that group by signing up to receive notifications when a new item is posted.
I hope that from this short blog fellow students will be able to see just what benefits LinkedIn does offer students. I personally have found it a very valuable resource and I think you would too!
By Chelsea Douglas, UWS Student