In the tough days of job-searching, any breakthrough is great. Therefore, sites such as Indeed, Monster, and Glassdoor are heavily scouted. However, LinkedIn is probably the most recommended website to join and be a part of a professional community. Joining LinkedIn has become a common practice among students, and it’s highly recommended. Though it may be perceived as a site for primarily maintaining a strong professional image, there are some other benefits to using the service. Here are some reasons to open or stay an avid user of LinkedIn:
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This is an obvious choice, but LinkedIn does have a decent amount of job postings in all fields of work. It even filters and shows jobs based on your interests or skill set. The good thing about LinkedIn is the ability to use the “Easy Apply” feature, where you can apply to a job by simply clicking on that button and having your profile information instantly on its way to the employer. This eliminates the lengthy processes of entering all your personal info, creating a resume and cover letter, and answering all the same questions for many job applications.
As for the other jobs, LinkedIn has postings which redirect you to the company’s website to apply on that page. Either way, a multitude of jobs at your fingertips makes finding them easier, and hopefully you can be one step closer to landing a job, internship, or part-time work.
You also can open your profile to recruiters, where jobs can find you as well, and recruiters could possibly contact you if they see you as a potential match for a position. In addition, there is a feature on LinkedIn called Premium, which allows you to get an advantage over other applicants and be shown more frequently to recruiters, as well as stand out to jobs you have applied to. There is a one-month free trial, then it costs $29.99 a month afterwards. Be sure to consider whether using the feature is in your best interest.
Your Profile is an Enhanced Resume
The tailoring of resumes and cover letters to different jobs can become tedious. With LinkedIn, that is not required anymore. Employers can see your profile via LinkedIn after you apply, which consists of your experience, education, skills, honors, a short bio of yourself, picture, headline, and any recommendations. Your profile is an enhanced version of your resume, and you don’t need to do any organizing, as your profile is kept neat by the site. Because your profile is so organized, you can apply to several “Easy Apply” openings in the same time you could apply to one without the feature. Even if you are not actively applying for jobs, it helps to keep all the necessary info on your profile for the future.
Network with Professionals and Peers
LinkedIn is a professional network. You can view others’ profiles, whether they are your peers or professionals, and get an idea of how someone made their way up the corporate ladder by viewing their employment history. This site also is a great way to connect with other professionals who may work in your industry or a company you are interested in, and you can politely ask questions to help build knowledge about how to approach the job search, a company’s culture, and possibly a connection in the industry. Having more connections on LinkedIn is better, and you can connect with peers, professors, family, friends, coworkers, bosses, etc. Sometimes, one of your connections may write you a recommendation, which appears on your profile and looks good for your professional image.
LinkedIn is a beneficial site, but not required. However, there are certain pros to opening or consistently using an account. The thing with career sites is that they impact every user differently, and sites like LinkedIn may help some students with professional advancement but maybe not others. The important thing with the job search process is making progress and putting your name and experiences out there to as many places as you can, because you may unexpectedly hit gold. Only using LinkedIn is looking at the job market through a small lens. Career fairs, word of mouth, employee connections, and other job sites can be just as helpful. Remember, whatever resource can help steer you in the right direction to begin achieving your professional dreams is the most important.
Rishi Patel is a senior majoring in Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. He has written as an intern for SPORTalk and Study Breaks Magazine. He also loves to write fiction, non-fiction, and poetry as a hobby to expand his writing prowess. He hopes to work as a writer/editor when he graduates.