Social media — it’s everywhere! And while it’s fun having accounts with Twitter and Facebook (among others), it is clear that the audience and purpose is a bit different than that of LinkedIn. If you have never visited LinkedIn the brief description is that LinkedIn is a “business oriented social media networking site.”
So why am I telling you this? Well, as moms in college we hope to obtain a career after we graduate. But what do we need in order to obtain that goal? What can we do to help ourselves stand out among the other people we are in competition with? Connections, a resume, and opportunities! I have a LinkedIn account and I LOVE it. Can I play games where I build my own farm and harvest fruit? No, but what I can harvest is connections with people in my career and college life. There is no better time like the present to build your resume and put your best face forward so here are 3 reasons I think you should have a LinkedIn account…and use it!
1. It’s professional social media for “personal branding.” Yes, Facebook and Twitter have their uses, but LinkedIn is a completely different brand. With LinkedIn you are setting up your personal brand as a student/professional, as opposed to Facebook where most students are posting personal information most of the time. Being a mom in college, you need to start thinking about connecting with new people in the field you are hoping to work and LinkedIn makes that possible.
2. LinkedIn is a good place to build your resume/CV. You won’t always be in college which means you will be looking for a job eventually! And even before your job hunt you may be applying to grad programs. I like LinkedIn because it’s literally an extended CV/Resume. I like it even more because I can store all my experience, achievements, etc. in one place. Because there is so much information I think it’s actually better than the traditional resume — it gives a broader illustration of who you are. One thing that I like about the CV/Resume aspect of it is that you can also share any publications you have had, any conferences you have attended, and any projects you have worked on. This is especially helpful when applying for grad school!
3. Stay connected with peers, coworkers, and mentors. So, you may not want to share you personal social media space with this particular group of people and that is probably for the best. While you may be a very well-composed FB user, it still may be a good idea to limit your “persona” to this particular group as one of professional. Networking has been a great resource for me on LinkedIn. I have connected with several people in both the college English career area as well as blogging, editing, marketing, and more.
So, these are just a few reasons that I recommend signing up for and updating a LinkedIn profile. Do you have a LinkedIn? Have you learned to use it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
(For 10 easy steps to building the perfect LinkedIn profile, click here)