Throughout college, you're told about a whole plethora of websites and software programs that you can download or buy to have the upper hand in whatever your major may be and apply those new skillsets to your search in finding that dream career. But no website will be more vital and more essential to your college experience than LinkedIn.com.
LinkedIn.com is a free website used by people looking for specific jobs that cater to their past and current experience and skillset via the body of content that they post. They can also find jobs by making connections with people they may know and building their personal network. Almost like a Facebook profile for the working world. For example, college students majoring in Creative Writing can upload their body of work from the time were in high school and writing poetry and short stories for their schools newspaper to their work with their current college newspaper. As far as connections, they can look up their old high school teachers and even current college professors and connect with them to show potential employers the vast body of contacts they've made over the course of their life. It's like the saying goes: it's not what you know, but who you know. Even students majoring in skillsets that are a bit more hands-on like post production film or making music can upload links to projects that they were either directly involved in, or have been credited for the work they put in.
In a like manner, updating you LinkedIn profile is just as important as opening one because it can show a transition and even growth from one experience to the next. Whether that's interning for a small business, while still in school, or going to school full time and doing freelance work on the weekends. Whatever the case, or work experience may be, it can go on your LinkedIn Profile and towards building up a portfolio of yourself. Once you've built up a body of content and established connections that you're happy with, you can send emails out to specific companies that have positions open and send the link to your updated LinkedIn profile, or message them directly through their own profile so that they can have direct access to your LinkedIn profile and see your content and connections for themselves. Doing this will ensure that they get a glimpse into your life as an up and coming professional, or even an established one looking for a new job to take on. Because your LinkedIn Profile is akin to an online resume, you want to make sure that you update it as consistently as possible so that there's no confusion or discrepancy when showing your physical resume and your LinkedIn.
Next to your physical resume, your LinkedIn profile and how much you update it with content and connections, is the first impression that potential employers have of you when you go to apply for a job position at a dream company. Or any company, really. With that being said, you want to make sure you put your best body of work forward for everyone to see.
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