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Here’s why university students should have a LinkedIn account

Students - here’s why you should consider creating a LinkedIn account even while you’re still studying. Source: Shutterstock

LinkedIn is a social networking site that is akin to Facebook, albeit, for professionals. So, should university students create an account even while they’re still in university?

The answer is a resounding ‘yes’.

While the platform primarily serves as a social network for professionals, there are also plenty of benefits students can potentially gain from using the networking site.

Here’s why you should consider using LinkedIn while you’re still a student:

Build your professional brand

LinkedIn can be a useful platform for you to build your professional brand. This includes what you’re currently studying, what causes you’ve volunteered for, what research or thesis you’re currently undertaking, and so on. Frequently updating your university achievements on LinkedIn will make it easier when you’re applying for jobs, and can even help companies find you if you have skills that meet their needs.

Build your professional contacts

How do you grow your professional network while you’re still studying? For starters, you could reach out to professionals, be it for an interview for an assignment, or merely to ask questions about the field you’re keen to venture into and learn from their professional experience, be it via an informal chat over coffee or asking to meet them at an upcoming event.

It’s a platform that allows you to research relevant industries

What’s happening in the oil and gas/education/digital marketing industry? What better way to know than to follow the movers and shakers in the relevant industries for the latest news? You could follow companies, groups or trendsetters on LinkedIn to keep abreast of what’s happening in your respective industry.

To keep in touch with classmates and acquaintances

The truth is, not all your classmates, professors, your boss at your part-time job or your superior at the charity where you volunteer may want to connect with you on platforms such as Facebook or Instagram, especially if they’re more open about their personal lives on those platforms and prefer to keep things professional.

On the other hand, the information we include about ourselves or the things we get tagged in tend to be more carefully curated on LinkedIn, making it ideal to connect with certain individuals, work-wise, who can also endorse your skills.  

It can help you in the job hunt

Are you inching closer to graduation and need to start looking for a job?

One of the convenient things about joining LinkedIn is the ease in which you can learn about the company by following their page(s), in addition to identifying individuals who work there and are doing what you would like to do. What do their roles and skills encompass? Do you already have those skills, and can your professors, ex-bosses or colleagues endorse those skills for you? These might improve your prospects for getting an interview and hopefully landing the job.

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