Connecting and networking is a crucial part of every student’s future career and plays a role in where students begin their careers and with who. LinkedIn, in particular, is an extremely important social platform that allows students, professionals and businesses to create a profile and upload their qualifications, potential aspects and past jobs in order to network. These networks are made through differing industries and provide an easy to use social path between professionals, future professionals and businesses.

The question is, however, how do students utilise LinkedIn to their advantage? Below are five key tips for university students on how to take advantage of LinkedIn:

1. Connecting with Professionals

Once you have created your LinkedIn profile and set up your feature points (eg. Past jobs, qualifications, etc), you will be pleasantly surprised to find that a large number of professionals will be available to connect with. This is especially important as you are able to track down those who specialise within your industry, have prior knowledge and are able to network you in the right direction to a future career path. You can also connect with current or past colleagues, family and friends in order to connect with their mutual colleagues, and so on – so forth.

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2. Job Emails

When you’re finishing your degree, or getting close to, it’s crucial to begin the job search early to ensure that you aren’t left income-less and without career options. Upon completion of your profile, you can set up ‘job alert email’ notifications that will regularly recommend you specific jobs within your industry and qualifications.

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3. Company Discoverability

More often than not, specific career and job choices will ask for a LinkedIn hyperlink upon application in order for employers to see your qualifications, past history and to allow prior employers, colleagues or otherwise to recommend you. A large number of organisations use LinkedIn to scope out candidates prior to sending interviews.

4. Company Research

Arguably one of the best and biggest features of LinkedIn is the ability for students and professionals to be able to scope out and research companies prior to applying for them. By visiting companies on LinkedIn, you can conduct research on where they are located, the hiring process, their expectations and more. This allows you to stay ahead of your competition and increase your employability.

5. Recommendations and Increased Employability

Another key aspect of LinkedIn is the ability for other colleagues, previous bosses and friends to recommend you. This is incredibly useful when job-seeking, and gives those who know you well, the opportunity to attract an employer’s attention and increase your employability!

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By April Ryan

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