By Stewart Agron
One thing every college student is expected to do is to plan for a career way before he graduates, and steps into the professional world. With a tough job market, it is no wonder that these days college students are expected to be more practical than they were during our parents’ days.
Though, unlike the norms that were followed during our parents’ days, both college students and employers do a lot of work through the internet. Internet is used by many, to grow their network of people, while others use it to land lucrative jobs at their favorite companies.
The past decade has seen a rise in the use of social networking websites, which is a fairly new concept. Websites like MySpace, Facebook and Twitter have taken over the internet. People love to make their profiles on these social networks and share whatever interests them.
One platform that is different from the other social networks is LinkedIn, which is merely used for professional purposes. Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn is not a casual platform. People use LinkedIn to connect with others of their network and discuss strictly professional topics.
· WHAT ADVANTAGES DOES LINKEDIN OFFER TO STUDENTS:
LinkedIn, started in 2003, has reached a large audience in its one decade history. Over the years, it has over 200 million users ranging from fresh graduates and college students, to hiring managers and even CEOs. This big pool of individuals from different fields and industries offers newcomers a big opportunity to connect with people they think might help them build their career.
LinkedIn allows famous and successful people to be LinkedIn Influencer, and to share their ideas and experiences, which can be used by others as inspiration. These advices have not only helped individuals, but are also read to motivate people who are struggling in their careers.
· HOW TO TAP INTO LINKEDIN’S POOL OF RESOURCES:
In order for college students to tap into LinkedIn’s pool of resources, they need to have an outstanding profile. Their profile needs to have a nice professional picture, and an eye catching profile summary, that actually describes their interests and experiences.
Experts say that the profile needs to have keywords in their profile that show their skills and experiences, which would show the profile more often when hiring managers search. A LinkedIn profile should be well maintained and up-to-date about qualifications.
One mistake, most people do, is not to connect. LinkedIn, like other social networks is a platform to connect. So, college students should connect with as many as possible. They should talk to their connections, ask them about their companies, and whether there are vacancies or not. So they may know beforehand about the organization and jobs being offered in the market.
· JOIN GROUPS:
One way of building a strong network is to join professional groups. It would be advisable to join groups that are related to the chosen profession. These groups have members, most of who are already employed; students can connect with these individuals and ask them questions. Talking online to these professionals would build your knowledge and if a student is an effective communicator, he can even land a job.
· ASK FOR RECOMMENDATIONS:
Nobody likes to connect with unknown people. In order to build trust in front of the network, students must ask their professors, and friends to recommend them. Recommendations are read, and a good recommendation boosts your chances of connecting with more people.
· HIGHLIGHTING ACHIEVEMENTS:
One option LinkedIn offers, is that people can highlight their achievements, like a gold medal in a debate competition or a research conducted. This gives students an edge. If a college student has a number of achievements his profile will show more often.
LinkedIn is a great social network platform, much different from job hunt websites like Monster.com; because it lets students build connections directly with people who are talent hunting. It is, however, up to the student how well he taps into this great resource.
A respected coordinator at Dissertation Writing Service for over 2years now, Stewart Agron spends her most of the day working side by side with her colleagues devising pragmatic strategies to help students with their academic needs. Apart from being a full-time employee, She spends her time capturing the beauty of nature via her high-end DSLR.