Getting an Early Start at Networking

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Today, LinkedIn made a big announcement in an effort to capture a new audience. Christina Allen, Director of Product Management at LinkedIn, published a post that announced the launch of their new University Pages.

Allen described the vision for such a feature as being “one cornerstone of our strategy to help students at every critical milestone from campus to fulfilling successful careers.”

While college aged students have been creating LinkedIn profiles in the past, now they have the ability to easily connect with and expand their opportunities within their universities’ network.

High school students are also part of the new demographic LinkedIn hopes to capture. Starting September 12th, this younger age group can ditch Facebook in turn for using LinkedIn to learn about colleges, different courses of study, and connect with other students on a more professional level. This push by LinkedIn is to not only increase their traffic, but is also to reach out to the younger demographic in order to create a relationship with long-term users. And on the flip side, universities can use this platform to connect with prospective students, current students, and alumni.

So now that this younger age group has the ability to utilize LinkedIn’s professional network, what should they be doing to benefit from this new opportunity?

  1. Connect with College Admission Officers
  2. Asking a College Admissions Officer to join your network, and following that by insightful questions about their programs, internships and college life, will be a great way to boost your name in the list of thousands. When you create a connection digitally, it can make a much bigger impact then asking a question at a college open-house or panel. This way they will have your name at the click of a button and will remember you better.

  3. Expand your Opportunities
  4. This is one of the points that Christina Allen mentions in her release. If you are pre-college or a current student, you can research certain majors and career paths that fall under your considerations. You can look into certain schools that offer programs specific to your interests, look at past students and what paths they have taken, and the skills that are necessary to giving yourself an advantage.

  5. Ask Professors or College Advisors for Recommendations and Introductions
  6. Utilizing the recommendations feature can prove very beneficial, especially with the new University Pages. Being noted for your achievements and competencies by relevant professors can really help your name get recognized when employers are browsing through your Universities’ network. If you are a Senior looking for a job as an Engineer, and have a recommendation from a distinguished professor, prospective employers will note this as a huge plus.

  7. Be Proactive
  8. LinkedIn gives the ability to see not only what job someone has, but how they got there. Looking at someone else’s path might give you the inspiration to take chances you might not have normally taken. Connect with these people and other industry leaders, asking them for career advice or offering them a skill that you believe you excel in. If you comment on industry-related posts, your name will also undoubtedly be recognized quicker. You not only prove that you are competent, but you also show that you are passionate, engaged, and driven about finding a career.

Learn more about what LinkedIn has to offer students:

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