On the In

Few university students haven’t heard of LinkedIn, pleasantly deemed the Facebook equivalent of young professionals and job seekers. Although underdeveloped, many students have started a budding profile on LinkedIn. Typical experiences highlight experiences in faculty and departmental organizations as well as research skills and summer internships.

Nonetheless, not everyone is convinced to invest time into creating a LinkedIn profile. It’s too much effort to create another social media profile and it’s intimidating to jump into a platform where you start afresh with 0 followers. If you already have a strong résumé, why bother with LinkedIn?

Well, LinkedIn improves your searchability as a potential employee. With an effective LinkedIn profile, you should communicate updated and accurate professional experience along with a personal touch of your personality. Your profile on LinkedIn might be the first professional impression someone has of you; that’s why your headline and description is an essential communication tool.

Plus, LinkedIn is used worldwide as a search tool. You might consider internship opportunities halfway across the world and guess what? Recruiters will consider you as well. Your LinkedIn profile may be discovered well before you present résumé because recruiters will have glimpsed at your profile before reaching out. There are options to turn on the “job seeking” mode to let others know you’re looking for opportunities.

The notifications are amazing. You will get notified when people browse your profile, when someone endorses you, and when new opportunities arise. Plus, you can follow prominent employers or companies to stay in the loop when it comes to job postings or new endeavours. I have personally brought up posts I have seen on LinkedIn during job interviews to let employers know that I am attentively following them on social media.

You are in control of your personal branding with LinkedIn. Just like your Instagram feed or Facebook profile, LinkedIn is a filter that others use to form perceptions about you. You have the choice of branding yourself as a high performing professional by actively posting on LinkedIn and updating your experiences.

LinkedIn is probably the easiest way to network. Don’t be fooled; this networking is superficial, like Facebook friends and Instagram followers. But it allows you to follow the public posts of people you are interested in and be updated about their upcoming events and conferences. You can also private message people (do so with caution!). Basically, you will have “heard of” many individuals just by being on LinkedIn, even if you do not know them in person. In a way, this functions similarly to mutual friends on Facebook; you see them, but you don’t talk to them. If you ever meet up in person, you’ll be able to recognise them and know a little something about them.

Think of LinkedIn as a communication bonus, where you can add details that are too long for your CV. Employers are very, very likely to glance at your profile in this day and age; if there are any outstanding achievements or experiences that you haven’t listed on your résumé, LinkedIn is the right place to put it. Any volunteer experiences or pro-bono work could be listed on LinkedIn so that employers are impressed with your dedication to community service!

 

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