Fitting in on LinkedIn

    Photo courtesy of author

    In the landscape of social media, job worthiness might not always be a priority (I see you there, profile picture prominently featuring a red Solo cup).  And why should it? Studies say many people feel bad about their lives because of “Facebook Jealousy,” the phenomenon that occurs when you’ve spent your entire lecture class clicking on everyone else’s Dillo Day pictures and wondering why you didn’t have as much fun as they did. The easiest remedy seems to be to add some tequila-tinged pictures to an album and call it a day. Fun? Sure. Probably going to get you a job? Not so much.

    In an online world where everyone is a “friend” or a “follower,” it can be hard to see sites like Facebook and Twitter as more than just another way to spend time with friends. Enter LinkedIn. Hardly a new concept (the site launched in 2003), this online hub of networking has taken the social media world by storm, extending to younger and younger demographics. Simultaneously an easy rite of passage into the job world and scary first step, LinkedIn is simpler than the last four incarnations of Facebook (hey, your parents use it, for Pete’s sake) and well worth a look, if you haven’t already.

    LinkedIn incorporates some of the best from both sides of the social networking coin. It’s easy to put all of your information into one place, i.e. your resume, your recommendations, links to your blog, website, etc. But at the same time, it still gives you that ego boost of Internet popularity. Tell me you don’t get a little excited when you get a new “connection"?

    Whether or not LinkedIn will get you hired is up for debate. It is, however, one of the handiest tools in a college-student-seeking-job’s arsenal. Still got cold feet? Here’s our foolproof guide to professional social media.

    Insert résumé:

    Standard, right? Not necessarily. While typical practice usually says to keep your accomplishments and previously held positions to a single page, space on the Internet is unlimited. Never again will you have this kind of freedom to talk about your limited knowledge of German or that one job you had over the summer your senior year of high school.

    Get connected:

    Colleagues. Classmates. Friends. Relatives. You name it. While I’ve yet to see anyone reach Facebook-level of friends, you’d be surprised by how many people you actually know. You’ll get updates from everyone you connect to as well. Some see it as another pesky email you’ll have to get rid of. Others see it as the best and least intrusive way to stay competitive.

    Get recommended:

    Probably the most convenient of all the features, these recommendations will stay on your profile long after that summer internship ended. You won’t run the risk of awkwardly asking for a recommendations years after the fact. Plus, employers will think you’re on top of your game.

    Don’t drunk-LinkedIn:

    If we need to tell you this, maybe you don't deserve that job.


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