Is LinkedIn Actually Beneficial for College Students?
LinkedIn is a professional networking platform with the main purpose of connecting professionals with other professionals with more than 645 million members in over 200 countries and territories. Many students feel like they don't have enough experience or lack contact with said professionals, which makes them feel unworthy of this powerful branding tool. I was one of these students.
I avoided LinkedIn until my sophomore year of college out of the fear that I would look unprofessional and market myself poorly. However, with the help of my professors and peers, I was able to change my view of this "professional networking platform." I now see LinkedIn as a necessity for networking, personal branding and I recommend that every college student make their own profile. Here are four reasons why LinkedIn should be on your radar:
1. LinkedIn gives you an online presence
LinkedIn is an easy way to establish an online presence. You want employers to be able to find you and connect with you. We live in a very tech-savvy world and unless you're trying to contact future employers by carrier pigeon, you need to represent your skills and strengths online.
2. LinkedIn allows you to connect with alumni
I have connected with many alumni through LinkedIn and even scored an internship through one of my connections. Alumni are some of the most comfortable and amazing people to contact because the majority of the time, they want to help YOU! LinkedIn makes alumni easy to reach in one location with just the click of a button.
3. Endless internship opportunities
LinkedIn has a vast selection of internships opportunities on an international scale for students. More than 70 % of its members are outside the U.S. If you want to go out of state or out of the country, LinkedIn makes it easy to find the right fit for you.
4. Professional profile extending past your resume
LinkedIn allows your employer to get a broader picture of who you are. I have information about past volunteer work and clubs on my account, as well as other information that doesn't fit on my one-page resume.
LinkedIn is a useful tool for up-and-coming professionals. It can be a good chance to get yourself noticed early and to develop contacts while still in school. It’s important to stay engaged and to look toward your future and making a LinkedIn can be a good first step.
Morgan Hale is a Junior from Middletown, Indiana, majoring in public relations and minoring in marketing. Morgan is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, a student-run public relations agency at Anderson University.