When it comes to statistic, Facebook social media proved being used by undergrad and graduate student population while LinkedIn barely is. Nothing really surprising here as it’s common to focus on friend, family matters and social aspect of life in 15 to 25 category age. So now, why is it so important to create a LinkedIn account and most important use it?
What is LinKedIn? When you type it on internet, it is defined as:
- Wikipedia (supposed to be neutral): LinkedIn Corporation is a social networking website for people in professional occupations. Founded in December 2002 and launched on May 5, 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. As of January 2013, LinkedIn reports more than 200 million acquired users in more than 200 countries and territories.
- Google (clearly the company voice): 200 million+ members | Manage your professional identity. Build and engage with your professional network. Access knowledge, insights and opportunities.
So, beside the 200 million users (which is by the way 5 times smaller than Facebook), it’s clearly professional but still emphases on the social aspect. Social because you can create, develop and interact with a network you create and control. As Facebook, it can be quiet addictive. However, as of today, Facebook will not help you find a job or internship while LinkedIn clearly can! To get more information about “What’s the Difference between Facebook & LinkedIn”, you can read this article by Forbes.
Why is it important to do social networking within your industry?
After few years in a given industry, it’s common to say that the professional world is small. It means that you’re likely to meet again and again some of the professionals that belong to your industry. It can be:
- People working within your department or network of competency.
- But also competitors, meaning people with the same University background, experience and qualification as you!
The professional world is becoming more and more competitive… As a matter of fact, it’s important to stand out from the crowd and differentiate yourself among your peers. In short, to get more visibility and work opportunities, you have to be on LinkedIn.
How LinkedIn can helps improve your employability?
The idea here is not to help you create an account but more highlight its tools and why it will be beneficial for you in the long run to create and maintain a LinkedIn account. While in University, it’s normal to focus on friend and family but at some point, you will enter the professional life and likely embrace a career for the next 40+ years… This is the main reason we recommend you to create and socialize with your account.
- Create and maintain an online resume
- Develop your visibility by expanding your network
- Target your professional segment
- Professional market inteligence with its news feed
- Follow organizations
How it’s organized?
The profile can be associated as your online resume. The Key elements to edit are your:
- Experience – Professional positions and experience, including jobs, volunteer posts, military, board of directors, nonprofit, or pro sports.
- Education – School and educational information.
Get contacts and develop your professional network! Developing your network is the most important tool because if you have no reach, you have no visibility! In short, the more you have contacts, the more it links you to professional within your network.
You can begin by connecting with contacts you know and trust and you may consider these tools:
- Invitations to connect can be sent to anyone you you know and trust. Learn how to send an invitation.
- Send invitation to persons who have same group interest as you. Learn how to find and join a Group.
Search contacts with “Search Companies” tools that can be refined.
- Company Pages can also be used to find connections within a specific company in your field. See the video about Searching for Companies on LinkedIn for more information.
Follow a Company
Knowledge about your industry and the companies you dream to work for is very important. It’s possible to follow a company from its Company Page and get updates on their developments and internship / job posting. Learn how to follow a company.
How to look for an internship or a job?
Go to the Jobs page and do a basic or advanced search to find what you’re looking for. Note there’s also sections such as “Jobs You May be Interested In” or “Jobs in Your Network”.
Let’s take a practical example here and consider a fresh graduate who’s looking for an internship or entry level opportunity in China.
“Refine tools” criteria is here very helpful to tailor and target your research.
If you’re new to LinkedIn, it probably means that you have a small number of connections. By default, better put “All Relationships”
Same here except if you’re very clear on the kind of companies you are targeting.
It can be a country but also a city. Let’s take here China and top also Hong Kong even if it’s supposed to be included in China (I’m not sure LinkedIn consider it this way…)
- Date Posted
It’s about the freshness of a job post. I don’t think it’s a critical criteria but there’s more chance that an old post has its position filed…
- Job Function
I’m only interested here in Marketing position and not even considering related departments such Public Relation & Communication…
You can specify or limit here the industry you’re interested in. We won’t take the situation here (as it will limit the result number) but it can be Marketing position in “pharmaceutical” or “automotive” industry.
- Experience Level
As a fresh grad, we can decently consider “Internship” and “Entry level” position
Now, the only thing you have to do is to browse the search results and apply!