LinkedIn is a constantly-evolving and useful tool in pursuing any career, but it can seem overwhelming with its long list of functions. Over the next few weeks we’ll be creating a series of blog posts giving you all the ins and outs of LinkedIn and how to get the most out of it. To start with, let’s discuss why you should sign up in the first place.
You’ll have undoubtedly heard of the professional social network LinkedIn; perhaps during a careers talk, from your school or even from peers. With so much to think about when it comes to careers and the future, it’s easy to think of LinkedIn as time-consuming and unnecessary, but it’s a social network with a difference. So why should you sign up?
One of the great ways to use LinkedIn is for networking; it is a social network after all. Through LinkedIn you can connect with other students doing your course, see where your course has taken alumni and look up employees of companies you are interested in. The Manchester Alumni group is a great place to start networking and connecting with graduates from the university who work in your industry of interest! You can also use LinkedIn’s ‘People also viewed’ function to discover companies within your sector you’ve never heard of but are doing great things!
Over the years, LinkedIn has evolved from a social network into a job site. Thousands of companies advertise roles on LinkedIn and for some roles you can even apply directly through LinkedIn. You can think of your LinkedIn profile like an extended CV. In a CV you have to be concise and may not have the space to discuss all your skills or experience. LinkedIn has no word limit so you can discuss experience and education in full. It can also be easily tailored to each job just like a CV should be.
Keeping up with your industry
A popular interview question which strikes fear into some students and graduates at interview is ‘what are the current problems facing our industry/company?’ Often these problems are not covered in non-specialised media. Rather than paying out to subscribe to an industry magazine or website, you can use LinkedIn to keep up with different industries and companies, keeping you informed on how the industry is changing and any positive changes the company makes. This can then be discussed in your application or interview and may even influence which companies you apply to. This isn’t only relevant for final-years and graduates though; this extra information may help you get work experience or internships or influence which modules you take during your second and third years.
So there you have it, three reasons you should sign up to LinkedIn.