For students looking to enter the professional world, getting known in the industry can be tough, but if you really want to make it in the professional world, you’ll be surprised at how social networking can help. LinkedIn is a great place to network with fellow professionals, but for those of you unfamiliar, what exactly is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn Explained…

LinkedIn is a networking site that enables you to connect with people in your industry. In brief, it’s a social network for professionals, and a popular one at that.

You have your own profile, as you would on Facebook or Twitter, with the option of adding a photo, a bio and details about your previous and current employment. You can list your skills and areas of expertise and you can follow groups of interest.

Whether you’re a student looking to branch into the professional world, a small business owner, or an executive at a large company, LinkedIn is for everyone, particularly those looking to take their professional lives seriously and keen to thrive in their chosen career.

LinkedIn History…

LinkedIn is by no means a new platform, it was founded back in late 2002, it then went onto introduce premium services for generating revenues, and was the first major social networking site to do so, before becoming the most popular site for work-based networking. By June 2010, LinkedIn reached 70 million users.

Useful Features of LinkedIn

Your Profile: Create a profile to allow others to connect with you. Include a photo, your job title, your location (nearest town/city), place of work and your bio. You can also provide a work summary and details of your previous work experience, similar to a CV.

Building a Network: By typing in names of people you know in the search bar, you can locate colleagues and connect. There is also a ‘People you may know’ section on the app and website, allowing you to see other useful connections to add to your network.

Messaging: You may wish to connect with someone who’s in your industry but who you haven’t met before, in which case, sending them a message before connecting, is a great way to break the ice.

Job Searching: You can choose to connect with people you feel may be beneficial to you, such as recruiters, if you’re job hunting. In addition, there are also all sorts of job listings posted on LinkedIn everyday by employers, as well as LinkedIn suggesting relevant jobs to you based on the information in your profile.

The Super Search Bar: The search bar on LinkedIn is very powerful feature and enables you to filter your search results. Just click ‘Advanced’ to find specific professionals, companies, jobs and more.

Joining Groups: Meet new professionals by joining relevant groups to you based on your profession and interests. This is a great way of also connecting with other like-minded people.

Have you Signed Up?

LinkedIn is a great way for students to connect with potential employers and start building a network, even prior to completion of a degree or HND studies. It’s an effective tool to use for job hunting and for connecting with other aspiring professionals in your field. And what’s more, it’s free! Why not take a look for yourself, here.

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