LinkedIn is nearly two decades old with 700+ million users worldwide, 46 million of those students, and recent college graduates. Some students may assume that you should be out of college before you join LinkedIn, however that’s not the case. The minimum age to sign up for a LinkedIn account is 16, which is the perfect time for students to start exploring college and career pathways.
Professional Network Growth
It’s never too early to start building a network with people in your career field. Getting ahead in any career is as much about who you know, as it is about what you know. Building connections from your roots and keeping in touch with those peers is important. For example, some of your high school teachers may have worked at Fortune 500 Companies that you may want to intern at in the future. You never know when a connection will come in handy and the bigger your network, the more chances you have of being referred to a job/volunteer opportunity.
To enhance your college application
Many schools and universities are coaching students to create well thought-out profiles on LinkedIn and bringing them to the attention of college admissions officers. School administrators need to know that you are a well-rounded student who handles anything thrown your way. LinkedIn serves a professional purpose where students can showcase skills, accomplishments, and abilities in their career field. LinkedIn has a feature that allows your connections to come to your profile and endorse certain skills. Endorsements add validity to your profile and college resume by backing up your work experience.
Secure your LinkedIn URL early!
An easy way to differentiate yourself from all the other LinkedIn users out there is customizing your LinkedIn public profile URL. This will drive your LinkedIn page to the top of Google searches on your name. It’s a quick, easy way to differentiate you from all of the other LinkedIn users out there. This is particularly important for those with common names. Doing so boosts your credibility!
Build recommendations and endorsements early
As mentioned earlier, when you connect to favorite teachers, coaches, and mentors on LinkedIn, you make it easy for them to stay in touch and follow your progress. Being connected to your teachers on LinkedIn makes it easier to solicit recommendations and endorsements for schools that you have developed and showcases in your classes/extracurricular activities.
Impress Prospective Employers
If you are a student who is looking for summer jobs and your competition has only a resume and no LinkedIn profile, a hiring manager will keep note that you have had the foresight to establish a LinkedIn presence. LinkedIn is about much more than just searching for jobs, it is still incredibly useful when it comes to finding your next position.