Colleges on LinkedIn: Why You Should Be There, Too

Dawn Papandrea | September 12, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-08-29 at 1.24.19 PMA recent announcement by the social networking giant, LinkedIn, revealed that colleges and universities are now part of the community. But isn’t that the site for professionals who are looking to make career connections, you might ask? Yes, it is, but the new endeavor makes the connection between education and career choice crystal clear.

Here are some other myths that LinkedIn University Pages bust…

You have the rest of your life to work… expand your mind and explore passions in college. Yes, but those worthy endeavors shouldn’t come at the expense of thinking ahead to what you want to do with your life. Connect with fellow students, professors, guest speakers, and alumni on LinkedIn even before you start looking for that first post-graduation job, and you’ll be one step ahead.

– LinkedIn is for professionals; Facebook is for students. While that might have been the case a few years back, students as young as 14 are now welcome on LinkedIn. The idea is that as more colleges come on board to the site (there are around 200 now with completed profiles; the rest have just their stats listed), they can use LinkedIn as a recruitment tool to find eager and qualified students. And students can use the site as a research tool to gain insight into the career paths of alumni from their schools of choice. Just type in a school name, and up pops a great snapshot of where and in which industries graduates of that school currently work.

– Getting a great job is impossible; it’s all about who you know. While that may have some truth to it, you can leverage LinkedIn to increase the number of people you know even before you join the workforce. Maybe your dream company is headed by someone who attended your college, or maybe by connecting with a professor, you’ll learn that he has ties to someplace you’d like to intern. Dropping a name or an alumni connection never hurts.

– People get creeped out if you stalk them on social media. It’s true, there is a fine line between stalking and doing smart career homework, but on LinkedIn, it’s much more acceptable to reach out to people in your industry or field of study. Again, having that alumni connection can make it all the more acceptable.

If you’re not already on LinkedIn because you think you’re too young, or “just a student,” don’t hesitate to join. Once you do, you’ll start seeing the connections you didn’t know had. Oh, and then follow us on LinkedIN too!

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