Ask any undergraduate what kind of “social network” they are active on, and chances are, you’ll hear Snapchat, Instagram, Reddit, and Facebook being brought up. These platforms are great for knowing what your friends are up to. But students, especially those with their eyes set on the future, should also pay heed to the social network of professionals: LinkedIn.
Here are 4 reasons why you should start building up your profile on LinkedIn and participating in the conversations there – the sooner, the better!
# 1 Learning From Thought Leaders
On LinkedIn, you won’t find an endless feed of photos filled with food or pets. As a platform for professionals to connect, LinkedIn is a choice platform for thought leaders of their respective industries to share insights and anecdotes.
There, you can find posts by CEOs and the management team of companies big and small, local and abroad. You get to understand their candid thoughts about their business and the world at large, beyond the official press releases and vetted interviews they give. You can also see what kind of articles professionals read and share, so that you too are well-connected.
As an undergraduate or tertiary student, keeping abreast of the latest developments will give you an additional perspective on how the principles you learn in classes are applied to the real world. This will come in handy during interviews.
# 2 Diverse Networking Opportunities
Not only does LinkedIn provide you with substantial insights, it is also an appropriate place to network with people in your industry, which may come in handy in the near future.
It may not be appropriate to add someone you do not know personally on Facebook, but sending them a LinkedIn connect request because you hope to keep in touch after hearing them speak at a conference or reading an article they wrote is a good way to touch base with people in the industry.
# 3 Building Up Your Personal Brand
Maintaining an updated LinkedIn profile allows you to be discovered by future employers, recruiters and potential business acquaintances. Every profile is a blank canvas, so you are free to present the most appropriate skills, qualifications and aspirations to the (business) world.
LinkedIn encourages users to write posts, share links and even photos or infographics on the platform. As an undergraduate, your personal brand will be greatly enhanced if people remember an infographic you created or if you wrote a thoughtful post about something of interest in your field.
People have shown considerable success in using LinkedIn to enhance their own brand, and be approached with job offers, speaking engagements, or other opportunities.
# 4 Being Ahead Of Your Peers
Given that using LinkedIn is something many undergraduates do only when they need to find a job, you will give yourself an immense advantage by starting as early as possible. The modest investment of time to keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date has the potential to pay you huge dividends.
You never know, a recruiter or hiring manager might just be the next person who stumbles on your profile and offers you a job interview! All you needed for those opportunities would be an up-to-date profile that showcases your credentials in the best light.
These are 4 compelling reasons why LinkedIn should be one of the social networks undergraduates become more active on. You could say, its the one social network where being an ‘influencer’ doesn’t have negative connotations. After all, alongside CEOs, working professionals and thought leaders, you’re in good company on LinkedIn.
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