If you are not already using LinkedIn, you should be. Over 200,000 college students join the professional social networking site each month, and these students have an advantage over their peers as they search for leads on jobs and internships. While students are searching the job posts to find employment, employers are utilizing LinkedIn to find employees. How would you like it if a company contacted you about a potential job or career based on your LinkedIn profile?
Like many social networking sites, LinkedIn users create profiles about themselves for other people in the network to see. The Web site encourages users to post resumes, information about their desired career paths, their past jobs and experiences, their interests and their education. LinkedIn then recommends jobs to users based on their education and interests. Additionally, sharing this information with the LinkedIn community allows users to make professional connections and network to find jobs. Joining LinkedIn as a college student can be the beginning of your professional presence online.
As a college student, the best way to expand your LinkedIn network is to first connect with everyone you know who uses the site; then you can ask to be “introduced” to their connections as well. Connect with former employers to receive recommendations. Did you know that a former boss can write a public recommendation on LinkedIn that all the viewers of your profile can see? A good recommendation or two makes your profile more attractive to a potential employer viewing your profile.
Networking plays an important role in finding a job. Miriam Salpeter, a job search and social media consultant, says that “making a concerted effort to grow your online network will help support your job hunting efforts today and in the future.” LinkedIn provides college students with the opportunities to ask other students how they obtained their jobs and to connect with alumni from their universities. Alumni are oftentimes happy to help students from their alma mater find a good job.
Recently, LinkedIn has caused a stir on Wall Street as it appears to have the potential to be the biggest Internet initial public offering (IPO) in the U.S. since Google. LinkedIn is expected to announce its IPO Wednesday evening and begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Thursday.
“On Tuesday, the company said in a regulatory filing that it could raise as much as $405 million. The offering, which is priced at $42 to $45 a share, values the site at $4.3 billion,” reported the New York Times.
LinkedIn’s IPO is garnering attention because it is such a fast-growing company with more than 100 million registered members. Its presence on the NYSE will pave the way for other fast-growing Internet companies such as Groupon and Facebook to be publicly traded as well.