LinkedIn for College Students: Top 4 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Network

by Neal Schaffer | October 29, 2009



1.) Utilize LinkedIn to Network for Internships

Internships over summer or winter vacations give you a great chance to test drive a career even before you have selected an online degree program or an on-campus degree program. Up until now the preferred way of finding these internships was through your college Career Center or searching a host of websites like Internweb.  If you feel you're not having any luck with these methods, try searching the 45+ million professional database on LinkedIn.  You just may find a job title and company that might interest you.  Then, put in an effort to contact someone who has a job that you would love to have. 

2.) Don't Get Discouraged by the Economy: People Want to Help!

Despite the constant buzz about the recession, the "tough economic times" and "the worst job market in the last few decades". it is very important to remember that decent human beings enjoy helping others reach their goals in life--regardless of the state of the economy.  Keeping a positive attitude will attract like-minded people into your life who will truly go the extra mile to help you.  I'm sure many people would love to chat with you about what they like about their job, and perhaps you can then ask the question as to whether or not you could help them.  Who knows--if you stick your neck out and step outside of your comfort zone, someone just might say "yes" when you ask them to create an internship for you.  You can't steal 2nd with your foot on 1st!  If they can't personally help you, maybe they could refer you to someone else in their company or in their network who can.  Traditionally, internships are created and found through networking.  If your own physical network can't help you out, plug into the grid and start Windmill Networking on LinkedIn!

3.) Use LinkedIn to Search for Mentors Who Can Guide You

Once you have selected a college major to pursue, or feel you are close to making a decision, you may be interested in receiving coaching from alumni who majored in the same area of study.  Or perhaps you can find a fellow alum who has a job  you are considering as a potential career choice. You can go back to your Career Center for help, but in some ways it may be easier to precisely find the mentor that you are looking for on LinkedIn using a helpful tool called Advanced People Search.  You can also join your college's LinkedIn Group for alumni and check out the discussions boards and news postings for interesting people to contact.  The ability to see a very multi-faceted profile of someone on LinkedIn will help guide you into connecting with the ideal mentor you are seeking.  Having earned a degree from the same college, there is no need to hesitate when it comes to reaching out and asking for help!

4.) Find a Job During a Recession: Dig Deep intoYour Network by Asking for Help

Getting back to my story of meeting Brian this week, as he pointed out to me, it is actually easier for college students to network on LinkedIn because you are a college student.  A lot of people will go out of there way to help you because you are still in school.  If you are genuine and passionate about reaching your goals, you will find more than enough LinkedIn professionals willing to chat with you .  Your senior year will no doubt be filled with college visits by potential employers and more trips to the Career Center, but if you've been digging your well before you are thirsty on LinkedIn, hopefully you will have already made many professional contacts before your senior year.  Just as experienced professionals rely on their social networking to find the "hidden jobs," you will be ahead of the game if you start doing this with your own LinkedIn network before you graduate from college.  Try looking for some networking events to attend from the LinkedIn Events database.  Join LinkedIn Groups based on where you plan to work and in what profession you plan to work in and maximize your presence there by engaging others.

KEY POINT: Windmill Networking Transcends Generations

I always tell people that Windmill Networking transcends generations.  There is no reason why a college student can't start networking early with working professionals on LinkedIn.  Executives utilize the social networking site, so why can't college students who may hope to someday be an executive use LinkedIn to make professional contacts?  The objectives may be different, but the medium is the same.  I have already answered the question, "What do I put on my LinkedIn Profile if I am a college student?"  If you are still new on LinkedIn here are my 5 tips to getting started.  You'll also want to build out your networks by inviting these 10 superconnectors that I recommend to give you more network visbility and help you find and be found.  And here is further advice on how to find great people to meet and connect with on LinkedIn. All that is left for you to do is take the initiative and network.  After all, what do you have to lose, right?

 

Connect with Neal Schaffer on LinkedIn.

 

Read More [+]

Searching Searching ...

Prefer exploring school options talking to our staff? Call toll free now: 1.855.816.4004
Call toll free now
Matching School Ads
Program
  • All
  • Art & Design
  • Business
  • Education
  • Engineering & Construction
  • Health
  • Hospitality & Culinary
  • Law & Criminal Justice
  • Liberal Arts & Humanities
  • Science
  • Social Science
  • Technology & IT
  • Vocational
Degree/Diploma Offered
  • All
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor Degree
  • Certificate Program
  • Coursework Program
  • Diploma Program
  • Doctoral Program
  • Master Degree
Location Type

Both

Change
  • Both
  • Online
  • Campus
Zip/Postal Code
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef, Project Runway.
  • A team of about 4,000 faculty members are focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
  • Academic programs available in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary
  • Program Coordinators work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
  • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
  • Phoenix Career Services™ help students find careers that match their interests & map out a personalized career plan.
  • Average class size is 14 students.
  • Faculty members average 16 years of experience in their field.
  • Mentorships & networking opportunities available through Alumni Association of 800,000+ graduates. 
  • Students & alumni can access job posts from top corporations, including AT&T, Hitachi & MGM Resorts.
  • Flexible start date and class schedules.
  • 100+ locations and online options.
  • Founded in Southern California in 1998 by dog training expert Steven Appelbaum, it is the largest independent dog training company in the United States.
  • As of May 2013, the total student body was 24,485
  • Provides dog obedience training classes in all Petco stores in the U.S. and Petcetera Warehouse stores in Canada. 
  • Is part of the MyCAA Financial Assistance program, which offers eligible military spouses up to $4,000 of tuition assistance that can be used towards any course offered by Animal Behavior College.
  • Courses emphasize laboratory skills and clinical externship experiences. 
  • All training is provided by healthcare faculties who have demonstrated experience and excellence in teaching and as well as necessary credentials in their fields. 
  • Class size is limited to an average of eight to twenty students per instructor.
  • Founded in New Jersey in February of 2006, the school is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)  and has been approved by the U.S. Dept. of Education and Dept. of Veterans Affairs.
  • Offers Blackboard Learn mobile app that allows students to complete assignments on the go.
  • Approximately 200 staff exclusively focused on helping students get externships, jobs, prepare their resumes, and prepare for interviews.
  • Live tutoring labs available to help students improve their knowledge and understanding of the coursework.
  • Has offered healthcare degree or diploma programs in nursing, pharmacy technician, and more since 1994.
  • In a university-sponsored survey, 88% of students report Strayer as having a substantial impact on meeting their professional goals. 
  • 65,000+ working adult graduates so far.
  • Founded in 1892 in Baltimore, Maryland. 
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. 
  • Headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, with 100 campus locations as well as online programs.
Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its seven colleges: Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Business, Education, Health Sciences, Undergraduate Studies, The Art Institute of California and Western State College of Law as well as certificate programs in many areas.
Matching School Ads

About the Author

Neal Schaffer is an internationally recognized social networking guru. He helps companies and individuals embrace social media for personal and business applications, and is now a highly sought-after speaker and consultant. His development of Windmill Networking to maximize the potential of LinkedIn parallels nearly two decades of success in Sales and business development in the technology sector. Neal earned a bachelor's degree from Amherst College and is fluent in Chinese and Japanese.