According to LinkedIn about 200,000 college students join every month. As a result, companies are realizing that it makes sense to use the site to recruit interns and entry-level employees. Thus, when you join LinkedIn you become part of a network that Human Resource professionals in various organizations regularly scan for potential employees. The advantage is that companies search for recruits on LinkedIn even when recruits are not searching for them. (This is what is called ‘passively’ searching for a job.)
But keep in mind that people are more likely to check you out as a prospective employee if your profile is complete. (Recommendations are a key part of a complete profile, so make sure that you ask your professors and others whom you have worked with to endorse you.) Having a complete LinkedIn profile may get you a much coveted internship. So, make it your goal to have an updated LinkedIn profile even during your master’s studies. It will help bring you to the notice of potential employers.
But, the great news is that LinkedIn has a student portal which will help you in a number of other ways:
- LinkedIn has company pages which will tell you what the companies do, what profiles their employees have (or are expected to have), and what people say about them. Through the portal you can therefore, find interesting companies to join, research companies that you are interested in and find out whether you are interested in joining them. This can help you to zero in on good avenues of employment and make decisions about whether or not to join companies that give you employment offers.
- Based on your education and interests, the portal will also recommend jobs: email alerts and notifications for this purpose are displayed on your LinkedIn home page.
- With the portal’s help, you can make use of LinkedIn’s network in several ways:
- You can add connections via LinkedIn and make them work for you in two cool ways:
- Import your email lists and see who is available on LinkedIn. When you do this, first locate alumni: they might be hiring! Then check out your friends and family.
- You can grow your own network! If you don’t know many people on LinkedIn, that’s not a problem: get friends to join, connect with them and watch your network expand. Networks that are started this way can grow surprisingly quickly.
So, even if you are a student, LinkedIn is an invaluable help. No other network attracts as many companies or allows you to connect with so many professionals. Join and get a head start in building your career!