The average college kid spends nearly 4 hours a day on social media. Think of all the times you check your Twitter feed between classes, surf Pinterest in lecture (just kidding… this NEVER happens) or scroll through your Facebook profile to procrastinate studying for your exam. For the most part, social media is a great way to kill time. However, there is one social media that demands your attention, whether you’re a social media guru or one of those rare college unicorns who logs into Facebook once every 4 months.
If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, you need to get one.. NOW. Our blog is filled with tips on how to become a LinkedIn superstar, but the powers of LinkedIn are seriously underestimated among today’s college students. If you do have a LinkedIn but never use it, start.
As the first generation to grow up in such a technologically immersed world, you are doing yourself an injustice by not taking advantage of all the opportunities offered through LinkedIn. As a college student, you are meeting new people every day that will likely have successful careers sometime in the near future (I mean, we ARE Purdue students after all). While you may think you’ll never have any business working with a Selling & Sales Management major when you’re an Industrial Engineering major, you never know if you may have an unknown connection with someone that can land you your dream job.
Did you have an interview for an internship that couldn’t give you the position for some reason or another, but is interested in having you in the future? Connect with your interviewer on LinkedIn NOW. You can stay updated on company openings, they’ll stay updated on your successes, and most importantly–they won’t forget about you. Did you meet an awesome recruiter at a job fair? Connect with them on LinkedIn right away and send a nice follow-up message. Did you stand behind the CEO of ABC, Inc. in the line at Subway while you were visiting Chicago? Add them.
LinkedIn is the one social media where it’s accepted, and basically expected, for a college student to stalk someone. Do you know your dream company to work for? Find people on LinkedIn with similar positions within the company and reach out to them and ask for advice on how to get your foot in the door. Most people are willing and happy to help. LinkedIn is all about creating connections–which plays a vital role in today’s job searching process (70% of jobs are landed through networking and connections).
After building an awesome profile and choosing the perfect profile picture, make sure to build a solid connection base, join groups and follow your dream companies to stay connected to industry happenings. You can stay up to date on job prospects and save yourself time once you land the interview by consistently staying up to date on company news and industry developments instead of cramming the night before, and grow your professional network at the tap of your finger. So, next time you decide to mindlessly open Instagram to scroll through your high school friends’ engagement pics, why don’t you click on LinkedIn instead? It could end up helping you land the job of your dreams.