I know when I was first introduced to LinkedIn, the whole concept of it seemed to be a little strange. All I could think was, “social media is for FUN…does it REALLY have to be a professional tool too?” I noticed that many of my peers had the same feelings. Many of my friends that live on their Facebook or Twitter accounts were hesitant to create a LinkedIn account.
I finally made my account after I was advised to by several of my professors. When I opened my account, I came to realize that LinkedIn is actually a very useful tool, especially when trying to enter the workforce, for a number of reasons:
It resembles an online resume. When you create your LinkedIn profile, you will be able to highlight your past and present work experience and skills. You also have the ability to write a summary about yourself that allows viewers to see your own personal and professional goals. Everything that you would want to show potential employers about yourself is neatly outlined on your account.
Employers actually look at it. When I googled my name, my LinkedIn profile showed up as the very first thing on the search. Also, LinkedIn allows users to know who has been looking at their profiles. I have noticed that after applying for some jobs, someone from that company soon after viewed my profile. An employer may look at your account to determine whether or not you should come in for an interview.
You can find and apply to cool jobs on LinkedIn. Companies often post open positions on LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows for you to browse different opportunities and apply for them right on the website. In addition, you can also discover companies that fit your professional interests.
There are informative professional development articles. LinkedIn offers many articles about job searching, hiring trends, and insights about different industries. These articles give great pointers and insight to those who are looking for a job or want to enhance their professional development and knowledge.
It is a great tool for networking. LinkedIn allows users to join a variety of different groups. Some of these groups include college alumni networks, career interest/network groups, and other common interest groups. On these groups, users have the ability to reach out to many different professionals. You can also connect to co-workers and friends to stay in touch on a professional level. I have had the opportunity to connect with many people at Bravo on LinkedIn and add them to my growing professional network.
LinkedIn has definitely helped me to expand my professional network and learn some different things about the workforce. It’s a free and simple way to get your name out there and impress future employers, or even to learn more about your colleague’s work experience. So overall, although LinkedIn may not seem as exciting as many other social media outlets, I recommend it to any millennial who is trying to enter the work force. Many of us are already skilled in social media, so why not put those skills to work and start growing your professional network!