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College Students, You Need a LinkedIn Profile

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linkedin-recent-college-gradsBy Madeline Kronfeld
Online Career Tips Contributor

I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t LinkedIn just a networking tool for business professionals? It may not make sense at first but trust me; you’ll be doing yourself a favor by creating a professional profile while you’re still earning a degree.

More than half of recent college graduates in America are under- or unemployed[1] and that means it takes more than simply having a degree to get a decent job. Students need to start marketing themselves early on in their college careers so they have more connections and better opportunities once that diploma is hanging on the wall.

With 93% of job recruiters using LinkedIn to find candidates[2], it’s only logical to create a profile that shows off your skills and expertise. If you don’t have actual job experience, you can add your university and course information so potential employers are aware of your abilities and background.

LinkedIn recently added the capability to upload presentations, portfolios, videos, and more. Just imagine how valuable this is for a photographer or journalist. Of course, this feature isn’t limited to those career paths and should be used by anyone who wants to visually display their work.

There are more than 200 million registered members on LinkedIn so your profile needs stand out. Ask peers or professors to endorse your skills or leave a recommendation. This is like getting a thumbs-up stamp on your resume from a respected individual.

If you’re on the verge of graduating and want to get started on your job hunt, make connections to people and companies so you’re alerted about new job listings. Keep in mind, though, that you don’t need to be a senior to start searching. If you’re a freshman, sophomore, or junior, you should still be using the Jobs feature to look for internships that will enhance your resume.

So what are you waiting for? Create a profile, make connections, and land the job you’ve always wanted.

About the Author:

Madeline Kronfeld is a Social Communities Coordinator at American Public University System. She has more than five years of marketing and customer service experience and has worked for one of the nation’s leading non-profit healthcare organizations and leading BI software providers. Madeline is working toward her MBA in Marketing with AMU. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Resources

[1] http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/04/53-of-recent-college-grads-are-jobless-or-underemployed-how/256237/

[2] http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57469282-93/heads-up-linkedin-users-93-of-recruiters-are-looking-at-you

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