How to Use LinkedIn

1Do you ever find yourself questioning your ability to network?  Do you ever find yourself missing opportunities to attend networking events in your industry?  Then you have come to the right place.  Networking as a college student can be daunting, but with a few pointers, you can easily be on your way to finding your dream job.

As the next wave of hopeful college students begin applying for jobs they are likely to be overwhelmed and don’t know how to begin.  LinkedIn makes for the perfect entree into a competitive environment.  LinkedIn is the ideal method for college graduates to gain contacts, especially given their adept use of technology.  LinkedIn has been called, “Facebook for Business”, a perfect description to give young people a better image of LinkedIn’s purpose – in the business environment you need to connect with useful contacts, and ensure you have the means to keep in touch.

If you are still asking why LinkedIn is so important, so here are a few statistics for reassurance:

  1. Over 250 million professionals use the site internationally
  2. About 75% of recruiters and hiring managers use social media to hire (and of this group, 94% use LinkedIn)
  3. Over 3 million companies have LinkedIn pages
  4. About 90,000 Villanova alumni connect using LinkedIn

LinkedIn can be used in so many ways.  It is primarily a way for you to build a professional online presence.  But in addition, you can research companies or industries, find job opportunities, connect with “warm” contacts (people you’ve met briefly in a professional context), and so much more!  Through your LinkedIn account you can make yourself accessible to companies and companies become accessible to you!  No more hunting down opportunities through individual companies; LinkedIn gives you the chance to find endless opportunity with the click of a button.

Here are a few tips for building a professional LinkedIn profile:

  1. Use a professional photo of yourself
  2. Headline with your current title, but use this opportunity to show career ambitions and value propositions to a potential new employer
  3. Use a keyword and description filled summary, including language from target industries, in order to convey who you are, what you stand for, and what you want to do
  4. Include your professional positions, skills, and academic institutions
  5. Join groups that represent your affiliations and professional interests

Join the Villanova University and Villanova University Career Community Group to connect with alumni!

LinkedIn provides countless additional features to highlights your talents.  A small portion of these includes – listing projects (option to include links), listing classes you have taken specifically relevant to field, ranking the value of work experiences, and getting endorsements for your skills.

To get started simply enter your email and start looking for your contacts!  Now, what are you waiting for?


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