Growing up, I had always been surrounded with the saying: “The key to getting ahead is getting started”. Throughout high school it served as a repetitive but inspiring motto to help me through SATs, college searches, and more. Now, I feel as though these words take on a different meaning. As a college freshman I abruptly come face to face with the reality that I’m going to be entering the professional work force in just a few short years. More recently, however, I’ve come to the realization that I’ll be competing to be in the professional work force. Although the unemployment rate has dropped significantly since the recession of 2008, the number of work opportunities is limited with a large number of college graduates fighting for them. After discussing this with a few adults, I came across a reoccurring suggestion: to make a LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn is (in my own words) Facebook for career opportunities. You create your own profile including basic information such as past work experience, skills, profile picture, etc. Anyone from friends to corporate headhunters is able to view your profile, message you, and link you in with other people. You’re able to link in and connect with employers, alumni, family, acquaintances, and even strangers. Basically whomever you’d like to potentially have as a contact in the present or future.
Connecting to people is such an important aspect of easing your way into the professional working world and it’s something that people (often college students) don’t realize. You don’t need to be a business or communication major or have previous work experience to be considered a “good” candidate for this type of networking. It’s all about the time and effort you invest into your future, and that kind of dedication is well noticed by many. Remember, it’s not always about what you know, but who you know.