Chapter 9 of Share This, discusses the ‘grandfather of social networks’, LinkedIn. Before this year I was not entirely familiar with LinkedIn. However, after being required to create a profile for Online Advertising I quickly learned of this particular social media sites benefits. Appleby (2012), explains LinkedIn as, ” (…) a platform to connect/reconnect, boost your career and find answers; simple really- just an online extension of our offline networks” (p. 81). This is site can be used as an extremely effective tool for college students to begin marketing their professional selves for present and future career developments.
While most college students spend their days procrastinating on Facebook, what they really should be doing is creating and managing a LinkedIn profile! With this being said I found an amazing article which describes 20 reasons to spend more time on LinkedIn and less time on Facebook. I will highlight a few of the many reasons as to why LinkedIn is a necessary tool for college students. If you did not already get the hint LinkedIn is a completely professional site not a place to post your photos of your weekend or updates about your social life. LinkedIn excels at creating a professional front whereas Facebook does not! While Facebook represents a wide variety of demographics LinkedIn is “the ideal platform for identifying and connecting with people across multiple niche groups” (Applebey, 2012, p. 81). While you might believe that the vast amount of users on Facebook will allow for more exposure this is not necessarily true. LinkedIn provides a place to connect with a targeted group, that is connected to you and interested in your work.
Facebook users often log into the site with out a purpose, mostly just to browse as a cure for boredom. However, when logging into LinkedIn users are searching for job opportunities, industry news etc. which proves that the site is task-oriented. Yet another benefit of having a LinkedIn profile is for resume purposes. This site can be used to collect references, and share work experiences rather then Facebook which encompasses more personal aspects. An important aspect to remember about LinkedIn is that it “(…) functions as an online resume, it’s also a time saver when it comes to creating one that you can print and hand out. Use this feature to stop neglecting your paper resume and have something to hand in”.
Finally Facebook is a major time consumer. In most cases it has been proven that Facebook actually makes your school work suffer. “Experts report that students who regularly surf Facebook do not do as well on tests. In fact, some students suffered by as much as an entire grade. They believe that using the social media site takes up valuable study time”. This is a point I can not argue with. I often find myself putting of school work to cruise Facebook, frequently with no actual purpose. In a study it was shown that Facebook users result in stays of 405 minutes per visiter as compared to a minimal 17 minutes of a LinkedIn user. This is valuable time spent without purpose. LinkedIn can keep you a step ahead against your competitors by creating a business network.
Overall, I believe that LinkedIn is an essential tool that college students can benefit from professionally. If you have not already done so create a profile, explore the site and begin putting your foot in the door to start your career path! It is an awesome social media site to build a resume, create business introductions, search and get hired for jobs, promote jobs and research!
Information retrieved from:
Howell, K. “An Introduction to Social Networks.” Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. p.82 . Print.