LinkedIn’s College Pilot Program: Students Use LinkedIn to Start a Successful Career

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640px-Linkedin_Chocolates[1]During the summer, LinkedIn released a statement on its blog that the professional occupations networking site has developed the College Pilot Program to help college students and recent graduates achieve career goals. John Hill, Higher Education Evangelist at LinkedIn, expressed excitement over how partnerships with higher education institutions provide information about student and alumni needs. To help this demographic successfully embark on professional career paths, the College Pilot Program uses this information to strengthen the career development and alumni networks of participating schools. College counselors and career services will have access to LinkedIn products and tools that are designed to support students as they build their futures.

According to LinkedIn’s blog, schools that are already on board include leading academic institutions such as Michigan State University, University of Rochester and Syracuse University. The alumni product, one service of the program, displays where students who have graduated live, where they work and what they do. With the College Pilot Program, LinkedIn can further its commitment to helping students garner career advice and build professional networks.

LinkedIn & College Students

Although LinkedIn’s College Pilot Program is exclusive to selected academic institutions, the professional networking site is still an effective tool for universities and students involved with online learning. LinkedIn serves as a career-oriented community to connect with professionals as well as a gateway to expert occupational advice and opportunities. LinkedIn is like a worldwide online registry that has more than 175 million user profiles. Any college student or alumni who is vacant from this network is invisible to potential and influential contacts, industry news and job opportunities that can shape future careers.

According to YouTern.com’s TheSavvyIntern, about 300,000 LinkedIn users are occupationally associated with recruitment services. LinkedIn is a valuable tool for hiring managers just as it is for students, alumni and job seekers. YouTern.com also encourages college students to create a presence on LinkedIn despite a lack of work experience. Creating an online profile shows that the student or recent grad is new to the job market, yet proactive. Students can use their profiles to detail skills, express passions and showcase any accomplishments or accolades achieved during school or at an internship.

Connections & References Lead to Opportunities

One of the most influential factors for creating a prosperous career is to build relationships and network. LinkedIn is one of the best solutions for making connections, especially for young talent just starting out. Companies and recruiters need to find candidates for entry-level positions and internships too, and LinkedIn provides that avenue.

Encourage students to connect on LinkedIn for the following reasons:

  • LinkedIn is a professional space where you can easily stay in touch with professional contacts, such as former professors and supervisors, who you’d like to keep separate from personal Facebook and Twitter pages.
  • Informative newsletters and job recommendations based on your education, interests and relevant skills are available and can be sent directly to inboxes.
  • Company pages provide a plethora of valuable information, including what the company does and the qualifications they seek in candidates.

In this highly competitive and struggling job market, landing a job and pursuing dreams can be a struggle. Why wouldn’t college students want to tap into every possible resource? With the new College Pilot Program and steadfast growing influence, LinkedIn is a rich resource that college students can’t afford to overlook.

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