Of course high school students are professional networking newbies. They are just getting started, after all. As guest author Chad Dorman explains though: That does not, mean that our high school years aren’t the perfect time to jump on LinkedIn…
Have you ever heard that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know?
You probably have, and for good reason. Yes, your knowledge and experiences are certainly keys to success. But it is meeting new people and growing your network that pours gasoline onto the flame of opportunity. As Leonard Andrew Consulting works with more and more high school students and their families, we frequently discuss the importance of young people beginning to focus more seriously on their network. Specifically: Their professional social network on LinkedIn.
Its an uncomfortable realization: You very likely need connections to get a good job out of college. This remains true even after you meet all the qualifications and have the GPA, diploma, and experiences to back your reputation.
That is where LinkedIn plays a major role – yes, even for high school students.
LinkedIn for High School Students?
For high school students (and everyone else) LinkedIn is a great place to connect and grow your network. In fact, LinkedIn is the best platform for increasing your chances at employment both in college, and well into the future. Some may wonder if high school students – especially junior and seniors – are “too young” to be active on LinkedIn.
The answer: definitely not.
LinkedIn is an extension of your digital footprint. Even more important, LinkedIn basically serves as your online resume. So while on LinkedIn, it is even more important for younger users to think through each of their posts, likes, and interactions.
When creating a LinkedIn account in high school, you are among a small (but growing) percentage of young adults joining the network. Of course, you will be a younger user. But that will make you stand out! Just as important, getting on LinkedIn will help you get a head start on your peers. And by joining now, you will show a level of self-awareness uncommon among other networking newbies.
Why LinkedIn is Important to Networking Newbies
LinkedIn, like TikTok, Snapchat, or Instagram – which are currently used by many high schoolers – is a place where you create a reputation for yourself. However, LinkedIn is not for nonsense, silly entertainment, or grammatically lackadaisical posts. On LinkedIn, you develop and connect the dots to a future career.
High school students and social media platforms are often seen in tandem, and may not be considered a great mix by some employers. Establishing a presence on LinkedIn shows professionals that as a younger person, you harness a level of maturity and preparedness others your age may not have. You show that you are serious about your future – future education, future jobs, future entrepreneurial endeavors, etc.
To that end, LinkedIn is a place where professional networking newbies can show their work experience and accomplishments, and can connect with future goals and aspirations in mind.
LinkedIn: A Great Place to Learn
Many high school juniors or seniors are not sure what they would like to choose as a major. They don’t yet know what their true passions are, so most don’t yet know what they would like to do after college. LinkedIn can help. Because when you are on LinkedIn, you aren’t just getting your name out there. You can also:
- Learn about different careers
- Preview career opportunities
- Understand what it takes to achieve your goals
- Follow your passions
- Learn specific skills
- And, of course, begin to grasp what professional networking is all about
Start Making Valuable Connections
Being on LinkedIn as a high school student will do what it already does for many – help you make valuable connections while growing your network. After all, who wouldn’t want to go into college with a bunch of professional contacts already in hand?
Better yet: Because of the “who you know” will grow on LinkedIn during your college years – you’ll no longer be a networking newbie.
About the Author: Chad Dorman is the Founder and Director of Leonard Andrew Consulting. In developing student athletes, Chad’s team evenly blends academics and athletics to find the best school, and the best team, for players to showcase their abilities. LAC develops an action plan for each student athlete. We proactively help players through the steps of the recruiting process. Each step of the way, we guide them to an understanding of the NCAA’s rules and regulations. We review the various scholarship opportunities available. And, we put them in contact with a vast network of coaches and programs. Follow Chad on Twitter!