LinkedIn is one of the largest professional networking tools of its kind.
However helpful it may be in the professional world, college students are not taking advantage of what LinkedIn has to offer.
Tiffany Madden, a career advisor and office manager explains why she believes college students do not use LinkedIn.
“College students are overwhelmed by it and don’t really understand it,” said Madden. “They think it’s just a professional Facebook, when it’s really a lot more than that.”
According to supplemental materials that Madden uses, 98 percent of job recruiters use LinkedIn and 94.5 percent of them have actually hired through LinkedIn as opposed to Twitter (42 percent) and Facebook (33 percent).
“It’s basically a digital mini résumé,” said Madden. “Then, [recruiters will] come and seek you out without you having to send out résumé after résumé.”
Dr. Jean Sandlin, professor in the communication department at CLU, commented on how LinkedIn is better than other social media sites.
“LinkedIn is catered more towards professional development, career enhancement, job search and has tools for that,” said Sandlin.
On LinkedIn, a member can join up to 50 free groups with professionals in their field of interest.
In those groups, a person can join discussions, and input their own advice about a certain topic.
The more a member comments, the more their profile will show up on the news feed of others in the groups that members have joined.
“By you putting valuable commentary into a discussion you can make an amazing first impression,” said Madden. “It will keep you on the forefront of people’s minds in your industry.”
Madden also said that LinkedIn is a place where a person does not need to know people in their field and connect with them.
A member can meet key people in their profession, who they may not meet otherwise.
Not only is LinkedIn about connections, a student can get recommendations from professors and bosses straight onto their LinkedIn profile.
“A recruiter can see those kudos right online and you can’t fake a recommendation,” said Madden.
Arianna Cook, a junior at CLU, does not have a LinkedIn profile.
“I feel like I don’t have enough experience in the workplace,” said Cook. “I don’t feel as if I need one yet.”
Sandlin and Madden disagree with Cook.
They both feel that a student should get a LinkedIn profile if they are a junior, senior, or have had an internship.
Madden feels like having a LinkedIn profile could really “catapult them into the job experience,” because it shows that they are pursuing their degree while being social media savvy.
Madden is also holding a workshop through Career Services solely dedicated to LinkedIn. This workshop will deal with the basics of LinkedIn, what it takes to complete a profile, why you should join groups and which ones to join, and how a person can use it as a job search tool.
According to Madden this workshop is aimed at “dispel[ling] the mystery of LinkedIn and hopefully put[ting] more students at ease.”
The workshop, “LinkedIn 101+: The Basics and Additional Tips to Maximize Your Linked In Profile,” will be held on Oct. 11. at 12:15 p.m. in the Roth Nelson building.
Published On Oct. 3, 2012