Yes, You Need a LinkedIn Account!

LinkedInWith so many social networks to traverse today, why is it important for college students to be on yet another site? There are many benefits to being active on LinkedIn, but the most basic reason – to get a job and move out of your parent’s house! You do want to move out of your parent’s house, right?

Ok, let’s get started then.

Just as with the other social channels you have subscribed to, you will be required to fill out your personal profile. However, on this network, you want to be as honest, thorough and as complete as possible. Give as much information about your education, work experience, certifications, awards, etc. as you can muster up. A recently updated resume can be of great assistance during this process.

Here is a good resource to get started on LinkedIn: Tips to Help You Maximize Your Professional Profile

Speaking of an updated resume, you have one, right? Good, because you’ll want to upload that into LinkedIn for companies searching for prospective interns and employees. This will also be very helpful while you apply for all those job openings you discover!

Now that you have your profile and resume completed, it’s time to connect with the many professionals you already know. There are a couple of methods to go about finding these people. The easiest way is to allow LinkedIn to search your email contacts. Another way is to search for specific people manually. This may be necessary if you do not have everyone’s email stored in your contacts. You may also use a combination of both methods to connect with professionals presently in your life.

Student You may be asking yourself, “Where can I find professionals to connect with when I haven’t emerged into the workforce yet?” Don’t worry, here are few ideas to begin your search:

  • Classmates
  • Parents of your friends
  • Friends of your parents (that you also know)
  • Coaches, past and present
  • Teachers and Professors
  • Supervisors from Non-Profits where you have volunteered
  • Members of organizations in which you are involved, i.e. Churches, clubs, etc.
  • Past employers from high school jobs, summer jobs or part-time college positions

Now that you’ve started to build your network, you’re probably wondering, “What benefits does LinkedIn have to offer me?”

Here’s a list of some ways college students can use LinkedIn to market themselves for internships, employment, partnerships or lead opportunities:

  • Follow companies that you are interested in to keep up-to-date with the latest news, and more importantly – position openings
  • Follow specific leaders in your industry to listen and learn from them
  • Be found by companies searching for people with your education, experience and knowledge
  • If you plan on becoming an entrepreneur, LinkedIn is in a very valuable lead generation tool
  • Get referrals from connections you have worked with or volunteered with
  • Post updates to your page of interesting articles, presentations, infographics, etc. to be seen by your network daily
  • Comment on others’ posts to create conversations
  • Join industry related groups to stay informed on the latest trends
  • If you write a blog, include a link to it in your profile to showcase your knowledge
  • Continue to grow your professional network with the world outside of your present circles – you never know what the future holds for you!

These are just a few good reasons why college students should join LinkedIn sooner rather than later. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for using LinkedIn, please add them by commenting below.

Therese MatthysTherese Matthys  @ThereseMatthys

Therese has more than 10 years of experience in marketing. She co-founded two non-profit organizations, implementing many diverse marketing approaches. She is also a HootSuite Certified Professional providing social media marketing strategies and coaching for businesses and individuals to navigate through this digital world we are living in.

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Atlas Sliced

Atlas Sliced Interview: Sharing Social Media Tips with the World

Last week I had the honor of being featured in Slice #61 on Atlas Sliced, the web’s only travel show that offers advice for those looking to work and live abroad. In the interview, Alexa Hart, founder of Atlas Sliced, asks me questions about why social media is important, as well as how it can help you in your career, and even help you go abroad. Watch the full episode below to get some tips on using social media to promote yourself positively and professionally.

EPISODE SLICE #61: Using Your Travels & Social Media to Create a Positive Online Persona


A big shout-out and thank you to Alexa for having me on the show! Be sure to check out Atlas Sliced on Facebook & Twitter.

Lesson 2: Facebook Etiquette

As my senior year begins at Colorado State University, it is more evident than ever that everyone is gearing up for the all-important, yet alarmingly nerve-racking, job search. The next few months are filled with resume workshops, mock interviews, and networking events – but nobody is paying any attention to their online persona.

It should be stressed – your online persona a.k.a. social media must be polished just as much when embarking on a job search! Companies are no longer oblivious to the amount of information they can find out about a person on Facebook – and they know just about every college student has a Facebook page. What does this mean? Your future employer is checking you out online – looking at your pictures, reading comments, etc. – and if you have a whole album of your drinking photos or are chatting it up on your wall about how you played hooky last Friday, you better bet you won’t get that callback!

Wondering what to do now? Check out this great article, “Essential Social Media Etiquette for College Students: Six Tips.” This should get you started on revamping your Facebook page into something that represents you positively and professionally.

Do you have any more great Facebook tips you’d like to share?