By Anja Herrmann
Getting LinkedIn should not only appeal to UCR students, but any student in college. Whether you’re in your 1st, 3rd, or last semester, LinkedIn is a door-opener to whichever career you want to pursue during and after your university studies. Most students at UCR already have LinkedIn, which is amazing! But for those that have yet to get on the website, I would highly recommend it- let me tell you why.
But firstly, what is LinkedIn? LinkedIn is a professional social networking tool for people to connect with colleagues, business associates, and even current UCR students and alumni. In some sense it’s a bit like Facebook and Instagram, just themed a little more seriously as it orientates towards building your career.
1) LinkedIn helps you to find internships and jobs
Although you could argue that your C.V on a piece of paper is sufficient by itself, LinkedIn has your C.V online so that it can be accessed by anyone at any time by people with the same interests as you or by people who think you match their job criteria. UCR’s summer is 3 months long, making it a good time to be occupied with a job or an internship when nepotism doesn’t work out. LinkedIn is effective for finding you an opportunity as it gives you the option for filtering out the ‘easy apply’ jobs, the ones that have had no applicants, and the ones within the country you want to go to.
2) Connects you with people and groups
As mentioned above, LinkedIn can also be used to get into contact with UCR alumni and current UCR students. LinkedIn also has groups that you can follow. For instance, there is one for UCR that includes a list of where and what alumni do for work. This gives you the chance to see what careers or master programs you could potentially follow by looking at what previous students studied. What’s more is you don’t need to connect to only the UCR LinkedIn page, you can also connect to multiple other groups of your interest. For example, an association dedicated to improving the environment would include posts from companies about what environmental projects have been put into action. There are also groups that specialize in giving advice about your desired career or what a good C.V would look like… and much more!
3) Gives you ‘a feed’
Like Instagram and Facebook, you will have a feed that is made up of what your connections (a bit like followers on Instagram) post online as well as which posts your connections like. This will expose you to even more fields through what your connections are currently working on and what interests they have. It is also a way to find more interest groups and to even make more connections. If you make a post about, for example, volunteering at the Elliott bar, your post will get distributed to your connections and if you get ‘a like’ from any of them, your post will travel through to their connections, and from there to more (imagine an online ripple effect).
4) Builds trust and credibility
Often when you’re looking for a job (or even applying to a school) there will be a general background check on the way you portray yourself on social media. Most employees will get this background check on LinkedIn – meaning that building up your LinkedIn profile will bring it to the top in search-engine results instead of any other random post about you.
In addition to building credibility, you can also get endorsements from colleagues and students on the skills set you have. For example, if you consider public speaking, mentoring or music performance as your top expertise, your connections can ‘endorse’ you for it. This informs users of what your greater strengths are (Keep in mind though to try and get a meaningful endorsement i.e. don’t exchange endorsements with a friend).
I also strongly recommend societies of UCR to create their own LinkedIn page as a way to give ‘further’ validation that graduates and future alumni of UCR worked in a society. When societies have a LinkedIn page, employers can look on their page and understand more clearly what their aims and commitments towards the university (and local) community are.
Finally, if you do choose to get LinkedIn, make sure to stay active on it and consistently update your profile so that students and future employers know what you are up to.
Note from the editor: Tabula Rasa recently also joined LinkedIn- give us a follow!
Anja Herrmann, Class of 2021, is a Politics and Human Geography major from Hong Kong, China.
Image Source: https://www.yourfellow.nl/blog/bedrijfspagina-opzetten-op-linkedin/