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Road map for results

College: the best four years of your life. You make life-long friendships, and have crazy stories to tell. That is what everyone tells you while you are a college student, and it is pretty accurate. But what they don’t tell you is how the job market is very different today than what it was in the past. Back in the day, the only way to get a job was through traditional career fairs and face-to-face networking. Today, it is like a whole new world, and that is partially thanks to LinkedIn.

If you are a Business major in college, chances are you have been told about LinkedIn. It was developed in the early 2000s and growing rapidly ever since. Many people have a LinkedIn account, but fill in a minimal amount of information. Throughout the rest of this article, I will help you go through a checklist to make sure your profile is ready for you to obtain your desired results.

The first step is to develop a strategy. Why do you have a LinkedIn in the first place? Well, if you’re still in college, it is probably so that you can interact with hiring authorities, and hopefully find your dream job. If that is the case, then let’s move on to step two: how to gain attention and attract connections to your profile.

That being said, your profile is a key factor in your total LinkedIn experience. Is your profile up to date? Your profile describes you, does it do so completely? You probably have some connections already. It is important to distinguish between warm and cold connections. A warm connection is someone you know well, someone you would be able to ask a favor of, while a cold connection is someone you do not know personally. It is important to have both types of connections, but also essential to know who your target audience is.

That leads us to our next step: creating value to engage your audience. Let’s say you are using LinkedIn to find your dream job. Continuing with that theme, how do you introduce yourself to your dream job market? Through finding the right groups. There are an abundance of groups on LinkedIn, and they have to do with every industry imaginable. Once you find a few groups you really like, become actively involved in those groups. Post interesting articles that relate to the topics being discussed, ask questions that you really want to know the answer to. Who knows, maybe you ask a really good question and some big shot from a big company answers you. But whatever you do, don’t just be a silent group member. No one will get to know you that way.

Lastly, once people do start getting to know you, you can start building relationships, which is the final step in getting the results you want for LinkedIn. When you build a relationship, you are building trust. People prefer communicating with, and doing business with, people they trust. As a result of following these steps, you can exchange e-mails with possible hiring authorities, and get an interview for the job you always wanted. Good luck on the interview! With all the preparation you did by using LinkedIn, it should be a breeze.


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