Some of you may have never heard of LinkedIn before, so I will give you a little overview on what it is, then share a list of my top 5 reasons to get on it! For those of you who do know about LinkedIn bear with me a bit while I bring everyone else up to speed. LinkedIn is the world’s largest free professional social networking site, where you can connect with past and present coworkers, employers, companies and classmates, and make new connections through your current network.

Why YOU should get on it:

  1. Establish Credibility – Having an account will allow potential employers to look up your profile to learn information not necessarily on your resume. You can add skills to your profile, which people in your network can then endorse, showing employers that other people also value your abilities. Also, employers can see your connections with companies, people, and professional associations, which can build a well-rounded appearance.
  2. Build a Professional Network – LinkedIn allows you to connect with professionals within your field, whether you know them or not, with prior or current employers and coworkers, as well as classmates. Many of these connections can speak to your abilities, and may be able to give you professional advice or provide a connection for a potential job opportunity.
  3. Learn about Companies – Use LinkedIn when you are applying for jobs or are preparing for interviews to learn about the company and the people who work there, to show you have done your homework. Or research companies and you may find awesome job opportunities, or make new connections. You can even use your connections to ask questions about companies that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to during an interview, such as, “Did/Do you like working for the company?” or “What do you dislike about your work?”
  4. Discover New Opportunities – Your network (people and companies) have tons of knowledge just waiting to be called upon. You can start a discussion feed or create an update asking for opportunity information. Also, the more connections you make, the broader your network will get and the greater possibility for opportunities to arise when you aren’t even looking for them.
  5. To be Found – It is nice to be able to be found by potential employers online, especially when you are building your network, and when you are prepared to make a great impression. Most of us would much rather an employer find our LinkedIn account than our Facebook or Twitter accounts, even if you have them private, or manage your content.

If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, you should definitely think about making one, especially since you will only benefit from it, and it doesn’t take much time to create or manage. LinkedIn provides many training tutorials to help you get started!

Posted by Sami Kerzel, Career Services Assistant

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