While Facebook is the place where your college friends hang out, LinkedIn is the social network for finding a job. With your graduation looming, the time to get started on LinkedIn is while you are still in school.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 150 million members and is growing very rapidly. LinkedIn connects you to your trusted contacts and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals.
Let’s look at the demographics of the people already on LinkedIn:
• Average age is 45
• 75% are college educated
• 27% have advanced college degrees
• 39% make over $100K annually
• 50/50 gender split
What does this demographic information tell us? It tells us that the people on LinkedIn are professionals who are likely to be hiring college grads and/or they know who is hiring college grads. You need to know these people and they need to about you.
The value proposition of LinkedIn for college students is that it allows students to promote themselves professionally online while they are still in school. In fact, LinkedIn’s main purpose is to help people display their professional experiences through various methods, including an online profile which resembles a résumé. Users can easily update their profiles, allowing them to efficiently inform their network as they gain new experiences.
Your current college academic experience and other activities are very relevant to potential employers. This includes volunteer work, student consulting projects, involvement in student government or clubs, and your off-campus work experience. This combination of information offered through your LinkedIn profile provides tangible evidence about your character, motivation, and potential. This information about you is exactly what potential employers want to know.
Watch this short video for an overview about LinkedIn and how it can help you.
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John Bradley Jackson
Director, Center for Entrepreneurship