Social media platforms are proliferating. Free and increasingly sophisticated technological tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter offer easy access to information about colleges and universities in America – and both colleges and students are trying to take advantage of the trend.
One of the more positive things that graduate schools do in the social media space is to post content about faculty research and what their students are doing. Facebook is responding to this trend with the launch of “Groups for Schools” which will allow only those students (current and prospective), faculty and staff members with a valid “.edu” email address from their schools to sign up and join the group. Using these groups admissions departments can reach and attract prospective students by posting admission information, answers to frequently asked questions, and relevant articles.
- Keep adding contacts. After you have added all the relevant contacts from your email list (the first step when you join LinkedIn) send requests to connect to:
- Teachers whose courses you are taking. Those with a good standing in the field are especially desirable as contacts.
- Project guides (internal and external)
- Teachers and professionals who you consult about seminars, research papers, curricular projects and those for competitions etc.
- Classmates in college who share your academic/professional interests (keep touch with the others on Facebook)
These steps will help you build a large network in a short time. Start this process now while at your college here in India and continue when you join your American university. The contacts that you make at your American university during internships, while working on projects, research or papers are likely to be among the most useful and important ones you make.
According to LinkedIn about 200,000 college students join every month. As a result, companies are realizing that it makes sense to use the site to recruit interns and entry-level employees. Thus, when you join LinkedIn you become part of a network that Human Resource professionals in various organizations regularly scan for potential employees. The advantage is that companies search for recruits on LinkedIn even when recruits are not searching for them. (This is what is called ‘passively’ searching for a job.)
But keep in mind that people are more likely to check you out as a prospective employee if your profile is complete. (Recommendations are a key part of a complete profile, so make sure that you ask your professors and others whom you have worked with to endorse you.) Having a complete LinkedIn profile may get you a much coveted internship. So, make it your goal to have an updated LinkedIn profile even during your master’s studies. It will help bring you to the notice of potential employers.
But, the great news is that LinkedIn has a student portal which will help you in a number of other ways:
If you are reading this blog the chances are that you are a net savvy user, you have accounts on Facebook and Twitter and you are a student going to America for higher education. But have you ever thought of signing up for a LinkedIn account? Probably not: LinkedIn is supposed to be meant for professionals, and none or few of your friends are on it, so what good would it do a student to have a LinkedIn account?
When you don’t know many people on LinkedIn, it is easy to think that it doesn’t matter. Actually however, there are 5 reasons why having a LinkedIn account is very useful if you are heading for higher education in the States.
- LinkedIn offers several tools to help get information and ideas from experts in your field viz.:
- LinkedIn Groups
- LinkedIn Answers
- LinkedIn Today
For college students these tools offer a great way of learning the professional language of your field, keeping up with the latest trends and topics in the field and becoming a well-informed ‘insider’. With more than 120 million users worldwide, LinkedIn offers a lot of potential avenues for learning.
OK, let’s get to the point. We are now on Facebook, and Twitter!
We monitor news and trends coming from American Universities, and ETS. So just follow us on Facebook or Twitter and you will get all the important blog updates, new product launch information, latest trends and news directly delivered into your favorite social stream.
Note, we hate spam just as much as you do so we’re not going email you every time we post something new. There is better way to follow all the latest news and trends, and the general consensus is it’s Facebook or Twitter!
So don’t wait. Start following now!
Team Social @ Dilip Oaks Academy