By Katie Peters – Co-Editor-in-Chief
Spending a significant amount of time and money getting a degree takes a lot of effort. Between late night study sessions and early morning classes, many students hope their work will pay off once they land a job in their field. Of the many ways students are able to showcase their skills, creating a LinkedIn profile is a great way to connect with others professionally, search for jobs and internships, and to create a public resume.
- Connecting with Peers
LinkedIn allows users to “connect” with other users, much like Facebook users “friend” other users. This is a good way to stay connected with peers, mentors, coworkers, and other connections on a professional level. Users can post their achievements, job opportunities at their company, and educational milestones for others to see. Having connections with people in the professional world can lead to training and job opportunities. Be conscious of who is connected, employers will be able to see a user’s common connections and interests. While some connections may have a good reputation, others may not.
- Putting your best foot forward
The user’s profile is much like a detailed interactive resume. There is space for work and educational experience, highlights of specific skills, courses completed relating to desired jobs, and space for endorsements from peers and employers. Students who have digital portfolios already established are able to link to that on their profile as well. Users should pick a professional-looking headshot for the profile picture and only post content relating to their career.
- The Job Search
The job search can be one of the most daunting things post-graduation. When searching for jobs and internships on LinkedIn, users are able to view a wide variety of job postings. According to Director of Center for Career Readiness and Internship Programs Donnell Turner, 100 million job applications are created on LinkedIn each month. Some jobs are able to be applied for directly on LinkedIn using information from the profile, while other job listings provide a link to the company’s hiring website. Over time, LinkedIn is able to provide a custom feed of job postings tailored to the users specific skills and interests.
- LinkedIn Premium free trial
While it is free to create a LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn Premium offers more detailed insight costing between $29.99 and $59.99 a month. All users are able to receive one month of LinkedIn Premium, and are charged the monthly fee if the trial is not canceled after 30 days. This provides users with who visited their profile, how they compare to other job applicants on specific jobs, free video courses for professional development, direct connection with recruiters, and more. Opting into the free trial while at the peak of a job search may be a good way for undergraduate students to more effectively apply for jobs.
- Getting started at Lasell
According to Turner, “for serious college students, I cannot think of one reason why you would not want a LinkedIn profile.” Many students at Lasell created LinkedIn profiles during their First Year Seminar classes. From the Center for Career Readiness, Turner and Jessica Orlando are available by appointment on Starfish to assist students in creating a quality profile.