By Shawn Potter
If you are a college student who enjoys using social media, listen up.
Have you ever wondered if there was a website that could connect you to professionals all around you? Well there is, and it’s called LinkedIn. Not only is this program easy to use, but it is also a fun way to create your own professional portfolio online and share it with others.
Think of it as the professional version of Facebook. While Facebook is also a great way to connect with others, LinkedIn has a more specific area of focus for its users.
One of the main focuses of LinkedIn is that it wants to connect you to professionals you may know. The factors that determine the connecting process include your own personal interests, whether they are professional or not, personal achievements, career goals, and educational background.
One of the fun aspects of LinkedIn is the ability to create and update your own profile page. The length of one’s profile can be influenced by whether or not they include their educational background, awards, achievements and certifications.
Although most of these features are optional to include into your profile, it is the best idea for ones’ own professional reputation to include all of the features. The more information you provide, the better your profile will look.
As soon as you have all the information you want to publicize on your profile, the website will then display numerous people that you may or may not know. Below their name, their professional occupation is usually included. This makes it easier to decide whether or not you want to connect with that individual.
It isn’t too late to create a professional portfolio for yourself, and you can start at any age. The sooner that professionals know who you are, the easier it will be to launch yourself into your dream career.
LinkedIn also has a feature where you can join conversations about different things based on what you label as your professional interests. These conversations can be started by anyone, and they act as a way for professionals to discuss various topics with like-minded people.
If you don’t have easy access to your computer, there is a free mobile app which allows you to connect on the go. By using the LinkedIn app, you can check to see who has viewed your profile, who is available to connect to and more.
The premium version costs ten dollars per month; however, you can still have a profile and connect to others for free. The premium version allows you to view more information on the profiles of higher level professionals and more.
LinkedIn in and of itself is a very useful resource for connecting with people that may help you find your next big job.
Shawn Potter is the Opinion Editor of The Comment. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @shawn_potter.