The job market today is becoming saturated with young talent. Students are competing with one another all throughout college in order to land that big time job that this college education was all about. That’s the end goal right? To go through college and then get a job? Seems like a pretty simple process right?
If you answered yes to that last question, you’re already behind. You need to catch up quick. The process of selling yourself to companies after college is grueling, challenging and demanding. Students are bringing out all the stops in order to set themselves apart from one another. Everyone is looking for that competitive advantage. And if you don’t have LinkedIn, then you should go sign up for one, like now. Stop reading this and sign up for a LinkedIn. Come back and finish reading this of course, but get yourself the upper hand before it’s too late.
LinkedIn allows for individuals of all ages to establish themselves on the internet, giving them their digital profile. In today’s society the days of handing out resumes in order to sell yourself is becoming old news. People still have resumes of course, but that is just one aspect of their profile. Using LinkedIn allows for you to not only include your resume for the entire LinkedIn community to see, but you can also put characteristics and skills on your LinkedIn account that won’t fit on your resume.
There are a number of things that LinkedIn users can do with their accounts, but the most important thing is becoming connected with individuals in your specific field and with individuals who have the experience that is needed for young students to succeed. LinkedIn has recently created an app for college students as well in order to ease the search for jobs. This app allows for students to take their profile and put it out to companies within the area. In doing so, the companies can conduct keyword searches in order to find possible candidates that match their job description. This is why it is essential to include these keywords within your LinkedIn profile because employers are always searching. With the massive amount of information that employers have at their fingertips, it is important that your profile matches what they are looking for.
When it came to the start of my LinkedIn journey I had no idea what I was doing. Like a great deal of menials my age this seems to be a common problem. Not many people know HOW to use this great tool. I was fortunate, however. I had professors throughout my college career who pushed and challenged me to create a profile that was unmatched.
It all started sophomore year in college. I was taking a computer science class and one of our assignments was to become more established on-line. So we had to create a LinkedIn account. There were certain guidelines that we had to follow in order to get the highest grade possible. We had to make ourselves presentable. This is what sparked the fire.
After that class I talked with professors, mentors and employers and every single individual I talked with asked me if I had a LinkedIn account. I started to understand the importance of LinkedIn. It wasn’t until this summer, when I got my first real internship at Mohawk Global Logistics that I really started to utilize LinkedIn. I started connecting with everyone in the office. That was my strategy, connect with as many people as possible and use those connections in order to make bigger connections.
One of my most important connections was made because of a connection with a teacher here at Siena. I want nothing more than to break into the world of fashion and athletics. And after a conversation with a professor, Nike came up. I told him my aspirations to work with Nike and he said that he actually knew an individual who worked with Nike for over 20 years and that he would put me in contact with him. After making that connection my foot was in the door. And I began utilizing his connections from Nike to become more established.
Staying connected within the community is crucial. You spend so many years of your life in one place. You make so many connections with people you know and people you don’t. You should be able to utilize these connections. LinkedIn allows for this luxury. Over the three years I’ve had LinkedIn my strategy has always been to make a face-to-face connection first and then follow up on that interaction with a connection on LinkedIn. It’s a conversation starter. It always you to stay connected. I’ve marketed myself on LinkedIn in a way that allows for myself to stay connected and active. LinkedIn allows me to be my own marketer. My profile can speak for itself. Because of this, I’m the one who writes my own future. I have the control and what I do with it is up to me. Thank you LinkedIn for allowing me to market myself in a way that is unique to myself.