LinkedIn is the world’s most popular professional network, connecting millions of users and matching job-hunters with their ideal roles every day. But what if you’re a student with no career history and no professional qualifications to speak of – can you still make use of LinkedIn?
The answer is a resounding yes. LinkedIn is not just a place to show off what you can do – it’s a platform for networking, for learning, and for making yourself known to future employers. Here’s why LinkedIn is so important for students:
LinkedIn is, first and foremost, a social networking site – so students should be using it to network! Even without masses of career history and qualifications to back them up, there’s no harm in students connecting with those within their field. Students can seek advice, they can source work experience or internships, or they can just save those important connections for a day when they might need them post-university.
Build an online presence
LinkedIn is much like Facebook in that you can post regular updates based on what you’re doing now, or things that have piqued your interest. Posting regularly can help you to build an online presence – and if you have a strong, professional presence online, it can only work in your favour when it comes time to interview for placements, internships or graduate schemes.
Not just academia
LinkedIn isn’t just concerned with qualifications and work experience – there are sections on the site that you can fill in with your hobbies and interests, any charitable causes you might be involved in, and any voluntary work you’d be happy to do. Use your profile to talk about things you’re passionate about – future employers will spot this level of enthusiasm a mile away.
A different side of you
It can be hard to present a professional view of yourself on Facebook when your friends are tagging you in memorable photos from fresher’s week – yikes! LinkedIn allows you to present a different side of yourself. You won’t be tagged in embarrassing photos, nor will your friends leave silly messages on your wall for employers to see. You’re in total control of your profile, and you can make it as professional and employer-friendly as you wish.
Bag your URL
Act now to bag your LinkedIn URL! The last thing you want is to be stuck with ‘JohnSmith7618473’ tagged on the end of your URL, especially if you’ll be sending out this link to employers in the future. Secure a professional, appropriate URL now before someone else does!