I recently had a fellow student tell me that his “career consultant” told him that having a LinkedIn profile as a college student is a joke. While I agree that LinkedIn should not be used in typical college-like fashion to post pictures of social outings and talk about your date last night (like other social networking sites are often used), I do think LinkedIn is extremely beneficial to college students who use it professionally.
LinkedIn’s philosophy, as stated on the Web site, is that relationships matter. The most important thing I’ve learned in my public relations courses and internships is exactly that. LinkedIn provides users with a way to keep in touch with former colleagues and maintain relationships with people across industries. I’ve certainly enjoyed using it to keep in contact with my bosses and friends from previous internships. Especially in the constantly-chaning media industry, LinkedIn can be a great tool for following journalists.
If you’re already a LinkedIn user, check out the LinkedIn blog. It consistently provides feature updates, tips and tricks about using LinkedIn and tutorials. If you’re not on LinkedIn – join the club! You can see my profile here.