I’m a big fan of LinkedIn. But I know many of my peers, including my classmate Jade, are not. The point can be made that the professional social network is designed for individuals who are not still in college. However, I believe this is not true and that it is necessary and very important to have a thriving LinkedIn page before you graduate.
Currently, I’m applying for a public relations internship in NYC this summer. I’ve connected with individuals in the NYC office through other LinkedIn contacts I have from a previous internship. A few weeks back, a NYC contact posted on his LinkedIn page that he was hosting a Google Hangout session for those looking for tips regarding interviewing with agencies. I hopped on the opportunity to connect and participated in the Google Hangout session later that week. Without LinkedIn, I would not have been exposed to these opportunities and would have missed out on the chance to learn more about the recruitment process directly from the company with which I am hoping to intern.
In the session, we were told just how important LinkedIn is. Employers are going straight to our LinkedIn pages after we apply for job openings. They use LinkedIn as a way to learn more about us beyond the basics we provide on our resumes.
Not only are employers using LinkedIn to find us and scout us, they’re also posting jobs straight on their company LinkedIn pages. For anyone looking for internships or jobs, I recommend following companies that you are interested in working for and checking in often to see what opportunities are available. As to Jade’s concern about some of LinkedIn’s annoying features, there are lots of great articles, like this one from Forbes, that can solve the problems of bombarding your connections’ inboxes.
Even though maintaining an active LinkedIn page can be daunting, I strongly encourage all of my friends and classmates to create one and take it seriously. I can absolutely credit it with positive developments in my professional life.