College Students: 6 Reasons You Need LinkedIn Now

I was recently speaking with some college students who told me they hadn’t built profiles on LinkedIn.

When I asked why not, they said, and I quote: “No one at my school is telling me to do that.”

I’m just going to assume they were in the lunch line when the school was telling them to do so! If you were  too, here’s the scoop: you need to be on LinkedIn.

Here’s 6 reasons why…

1. To Get in the “People Dictionary”

Think of LinkedIn as an online dictionary… of people.

I recently met a woman on cross-country flight. She was a life and leadership coach from Colorado. We traded cards, I looked her up on LinkedIn, looked at her profile and connected with her. Now I can easily find her on-line no matter where I am, to connect with her again.

When you are on LinkedIn people will be able to do the same with you.

LinkedIn provides profile features specifically for students and grads. Take a look… and then get listed in the people dictionary.

2. To Be Found in the People Dictionary

Did you know:

  • There are 300,000 people on LinkedIn who list some type of recruiting as their job title?
  • According to a Jump Start Social Media poll 75% of hiring managers check LinkedIn to research the credentials of job candidates?

Whether you seek an internship, a summer job, or employment after graduation, having a LinkedIn profile allows you to be found in the people dictionary by others who want to know more about you.

3. To Get on the “Early Talent” Radar

In a recent Michigan State study Dr. Phil Gardner surveyed over 4,000 companies who hire college students. In that study he identified an emerging trend: corporations entering into partnerships with college and universities.

Why? To get early access to the best early talent. Of those who engage in corporate partnerships:

  • 60% partner with career centers
  • 39% engage with selected faculty from academic programs
  • 37% engage with Deans from specific colleges

Additionally, research continues to show that internships – early and often – best qualify you for a job after graduation.

So…connect with the career center and academic staff you know. When organizations come looking for talent, you’ll be on their radar. Continue building relationships with academic and career staff to broaden your network throughout your college experience.

4. To Prepare for the Future

One of the steps in transitioning through big life changes is to begin envisioning yourself in the future state. Prepare for the transition from college to career, by seeing yourself as a young professional.

Building a profile and getting your online presence up and running is one concrete way to do that.

5. To Give Yourself a Voice

Many university students tell me their lack of work experience deters them from building an online profile.

The student profile suggestions I mention above should help address your concern. Even without deep experience, you can tell potential employers who you are.

Here are a few ideas once you’ve built your profile.

  • Record and post a video talking about your interests and passions.
  • Connect to blogs or social media posts you produce (of a professional nature of course) that reflect your point of view.
  • Upload a PowerPoint or Prezi detailing your accomplishments, accolades, interest, or research.

Maybe you don’t know exactly what you want to do when you graduate; you can still articulate the qualities that make you a great potential employee. Use your profile to tell stories about a trans-formative life experience or a key learning that affected your worldview.

6. Because You Don’t Friend Your Parents on Facebook

LinkedIn is one social media stream to which your parents can be invited. You should connect with them, friends of parents, parents of friends, relatives, any work connections you already have, contacts from church, volunteer work and more.

Invite all the personal connections you already know. It’s a quick and easy way to build your network. You may be surprised at what you find in your own back yard!

Clearly talent recruiting processes will continue to morph and change. There’s discussion about Facebook opening up a recruiting pipeline. Twitter also generates a lot of recruiting action. For right now, however, it seems that LinkedIn remains the social media starting point upon which you can layer other career pursuit avenues.

What’s preventing you from getting into LinkedIn, the “people dictionary?”


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Degrees of Transition!


About the Author: Lea McLeod helps recent grads and mid-careerists navigate the job search. And once you have a job, she’ll coach you to the brilliant performance of which you are capable! Her “Developing Patterns of Success” Workshop has been deployed to help thousands of college hires worldwide do just that. She blogs at Follow her on Facebook, and Twitter, too.



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