LinkedIn: What is it and Why is it Important?

Author: Lauren Disclafani, Graduate Assistant

LinkedIn Group

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As a college student in 2015, I’m sure we could all agree that, to an extent, social media runs our world. It’s how we connect with friends and family, share the things that are important to us, and stay up-to-date with current events. A lot of controversy surrounds social media and the professional world concerning appropriate personal profiles. What information is better to keep to yourself? Wouldn’t it be great if there was a place where you could keep things strictly professional and not have to read about what everyone ate for dinner last night or who they’re voting for in the next election? The good news is that there IS a place you can do that! LinkedIn, which boasts of being the “World’s Largest Professional Network,” is giving students like you the opportunity to build your personal brand. It also provides you with the opportunity to connect with millions of professionals in your career field, right from the comfort of your own home…and what could be better than that?! Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why YOU need to get LinkedIn ASAP!

Who: Anyone and everyone should create a LinkedIn profile!! It is never too early or too late. Whether you’re a freshman looking for some part-time work or a graduating senior looking for your first full-time job, there is never a wrong time to get your name out there and begin networking. Establishing connections with professionals in your field can be the first step in opening doors to a successful career.

LinkedIn Browse

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What: LinkedIn is a social media site geared toward helping professionals build a profile/brand and connect with one another. It is similar to other social media sites in that it allows you to create a personal profile and connect with people you know. This platform also gives you an opportunity to highlight your work-related experience and network with professionals who you may not know yet. Think of it as an electronic resume with some personal flair.  Your LinkedIn profile will be a glimpse of what you’ve done in the past and what you’re hoping to accomplish in the future.

Where/When: If you’re looking for some tips on creating and/or maximizing the strength of your LinkedIn profile, join us for our two LinkedIn information sessions on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 in the Huether School of Business, Room 101:

  • LinkedIn 101: Why is LinkedIn Important? 3-4pm
  • LinkedIn 102: I have a LinkedIn Profile- Now What? 4-5pm

LinkedIn Miles

In addition to the information sessions, the Career Center will be hosting iSmile Studios on Thursday, November 5, 2015 in the Main Lounge of the EAC from 11am to 2pm to take professional LinkedIn headshots! Having a professional headshot on your LinkedIn profile is extremely important and will make all the difference when employers are looking for you. Make sure you come professionally dressed and ready to smile! You’ll receive your headshot on a FREE flash drive, as well.

If you are unable to join us for those events, don’t forget that the Career Center has walk-in hours (Monday-Wednesday, 12-4pm) and can also schedule appointments to provide you with feedback on your LinkedIn profile! We also have some great LinkedIn resources on our website.

Why: The way we network and connect with each other as peers and professionals is constantly evolving, and LinkedIn is definitely the next step in revolutionizing that process. Technology has given us access not only to people but millions of resources that can help you find information on different career paths and aid in the job/internship search. Using LinkedIn is without a doubt the best step in balancing that fine line between both your personal and professional worlds.

As a student myself, I would highly recommend LinkedIn to all of my peers. Aside from the fact that it’s an incredible tool to create your personal brand, it’s extremely easy to use. When creating a profile, LinkedIn walks you through step by step and guides you to building the best profile possible. Once you’re up and running you can connect with people instantly. Since joining LinkedIn I’ve connected with hundreds of friends, co-workers, and professionals in my field – something I may not have been able to do without it!

We look forward to seeing you for LinkedIn 101 and 102 on November 4th and LinkedIn Headshots on November 5th!

What do you think?