In an age where social media reigns supreme, students have fallen prey to giving access to their entire lives with the click of a button.
Providing the best professional image for a future employer is one of the most important, yet overlooked, tasks when it comes to students and social media.
One site that caters to maintaining a professional image for its users is LinkedIn. Created in 2003, LinkedIn has grown to more than 85 million users in over 200 countries. Despite the steady growth, it still remains social media’s best kept secret.
“I’ve never heard of it,” said Brandy Morgan, a senior accounting student from Tampa. “The fact that there is a social media site that caters to finding you a job and providing you with network bases is great. I know I will be creating one as soon as possible.”
Members can search for jobs, join groups, research companies and network with other members. Users profile pages contain information about their skills, qualifications and experience. It can also help build brands with professional prospects. If a certain company is interested in a profile, it can contact the user or recruit members through LinkedIn.
“LinkedIn is truly a godsend for me,” said Myles Hester, a third-year political science student from Detroit. “I’ve garnered so many great contacts from people who own their own law firms to senators and congressmen.”
While looking for jobs, students should use keywords in their job searches and the network will connect them to hiring managers with companies. Businesses can put information and job listings about the company online.
Users will be able to apply for the position or request a referral online. They can also sign up to receive daily job postings to their email with information about what companies are hiring and how to qualify for positions.
After users have created their profile and started networking with companies and professionals, they should remember to keep their account updated. The more connections a user has, the better job opportunities a user will have.
Delores Dean, director of the FAMU Career Center, says there is nothing wrong with using LinkedIn. It just depends on how you use it.
“I talk to students on a daily basis about these social networks and how to use them,” said Dean. “First, you need to know about these websites, who to accept as your friend and what information you want people to read and know about you before posting it on the website.”