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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Let's get LinkedIn

Before my college entrepreneurship class, I thought LinkedIn was for boring businessmen.

But, honey I was so wrong. LinkedIn is so important, especially for recent grads or college students. It helps to network with career crushes as well as networking with fellow college students. According to Forbes, LinkedIn has become an essential personal branding tool and there has never been a more important time to build a great LinkedIn profile. And everyone loves personal branding in 2018, right? 

I'm a sucker for anything that has to do with branding. But, honestly, it's one of my favorite socials.  The closer graduation gets, the more I find myself dedicated to using it daily. The benefits are endless, and it's also a great start to networking. Here are some of my favorite perks to having a LinkedIn account.

Networking some pretty cool career crushes
My favorite thing about LinkedIn is the access to my favorite career crushes. This summer, a Kent alumna (and a huge career inspiration) reached out and invited me to a networking event she was hosting that weekend. Honestly, I was so shook, but I would have never had that opportunity if I hadn't connected with her. She was so sweet IRL and I still can't believe I received such an amazing opportunity. I also think LinkedIn is great when it comes to connecting with people who work at your favorite companies. That connection followed by a message could turn into a potential reference. It's all about taking a chance.

Stay up to date on news of your fave companies
If you want to do research on a particular company, LinkedIn is a great place to start. Companies post updates or news features all the time, and this can become a great talking point in an upcoming interview. Let's say you have an interview for Ralph Lauren, and the recruiters ask what questions do you have for them? Since you've done your research through the LinkedIn search and beyond, you can ask them about their recent initiation into the #CEOaction for Diversity and inclusion. It shows you know their company and that you are interested in their core values.

Step outside of your comfort zone 
I would consider myself pretty shy when it comes to networking, Let's face it, it's just intimidating. The traditional networking experience just leaves my stomach churning at the thought of walking up to someone important and talking about myself. I constantly worry about saying the wrong thing and your girl also has a tendency to ramble and overthink. LinkedIn takes the awkwardness away, and users to network their way. It's pretty much shooting your shot in LinkedIn messages. It's a risk, but hey, a lot of people are responsive and there is never any hurt in trying.

Taking advantage of incredible resources
 Another huge benefit are the step by step videos for various skills. LinkedIn Learning Library and Lynda.com (a sister company of Linkedin) offer a vast array of tips and pointers for just about everything business and career-related. The LinkedIn Learning Library features tips on technical writing, productivity, and Microsoft programs. And Lynda.com shows step by step instructions for Adobe programs, design, business, and web development. The two resources are subscription based, but sometimes an organization like a University will fund students free access, just check with your professor or your school's website.

Getting Recruited (I actually experienced this, honestly so cool!)
I actually got recruited a couple of times through LinkedIn for smaller jobs. This is actually common because HR professionals sometimes will stumble upon your page and send you a quick message expressing interest. Honestly, it's a great feeling when someone reviews your page and appreciates your skill sets. And if you're on a job or internship search, it makes it all so much sweeter.

Search internships from major companies
Linkedin has thousands of job postings from huge companies to really cool startups. I've seen internship and job postings from companies like Ralph Lauren, L Brands, and Amazon. Sometimes companies may only choose to post the position on LinkedIn, so it's so important to utilize your account daily. And sometimes corporate professionals in your network will make postings if they are in need of an intern or assistant.

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