We usually think of social media as being a fun way to pass the time — catching up with what friends are doing and sharing our own photos and videos. However, some social media platforms can also be valuable for networking purposes, especially LinkedIn. In fact, it makes sense to start using LinkedIn when you’re still a student, instead of waiting until you’re searching for a job, but it’s important to use it the right way.
Develop the Online Presence You Want Employers to See
Much of what you post online is likely not things you’d want a potential employer to find. However, there’s no use setting everything to private, as you do need some kind of online presence. Creating an online portfolio or website is one option, but that takes a large amount of effort and it may not even be suitable for you, depending on your major. LinkedIn, however, is appropriate for just about everyone.
Create an Online Resume
LinkedIn allows you to effectively show a resume to employers before you’ve even applied for a job. Plus, there’s the chance to include much more information — about things like what your past jobs involved and your achievements — than you could fit on a traditional resume. LinkedIn is even beneficial if you’ve never had a job, as you can include details about activities and societies you belong to at college, your volunteer experience, your skills, and certifications you’ve achieved.
Follow Companies You’re Interested In
As well as adding connections, it’s worth following businesses on LinkedIn, particularly ones you may like to work for in the future. This will keep you up to date with what companies are doing and industry news as a whole, but it will also show you more about the values and culture at companies, which can be useful to know before potentially applying for a new job.
Check Job Openings
Many employers post jobs directly to LinkedIn. You’ll be able to see jobs from the companies you’re following as well as others related to your interests and career goals. Even if it’s too early to start thinking about applying to jobs, it’s useful to see what kinds of opportunities are available to you to ensure you’re developing relevant skills and choosing the best electives. You may even discover a new potential career path that you hadn’t considered.
Connect with Alumni
People who have been where you are today are great to connect with. It’s likely that there’s an alumni group for your college on LinkedIn, where you can chat with people and grow your network. Graduates who majored in the same subject as you may be able to give you career advice, including where to find internships and volunteering opportunities.
Make a Great Impression
It’s worth checking your LinkedIn profile often and thinking about how you can improve it. For example, you need to have a high-resolution, professional photo of just you that’s relatively recent. A second important part of your profile is the summary. This gives you the chance to explain who you are and what you’re hoping to achieve. Write it as you would a cover letter and proofread it carefully — the last thing you want is a glaring error on your profile.
Ask for Recommendations
What you add to your LinkedIn profile is all your own words. Potential employers need to see that other people agree with your assessment of yourself. A great feature of LinkedIn is the chance to give recommendations. You can request these from anyone you like, but it’s best if they come from an employer or your professors.
LinkedIn can do plenty for you, but it can’t teach you how to find cheap apartments for college students. The good news is that if you’re attending Fanshawe College, there’s no need to look any further. Foundry First provides affordable student housing that meets your needs. You’ll have a spacious, fully-furnished suite with a private bedroom and a variety of onsite amenities to make you feel at home. Apply now while there are still spots still available.