If you’ve ever met our team in person, you probably heard us talking about the power of LinkedIn as a social media platform. In this blog, we’re going to go through why LinkedIn is so powerful for youth. We guarantee that if you apply these best LinkedIn practices, you’ll be able to understand the impact of this platform and navigate the professional ecosystem well as a young student.
Before we dive right into it, we’re going to answer a couple of introductory questions that you might have.
The first question is: “What is LinkedIn”?
LinkedIn is the Facebook for professionals. Instead of seeing memes on your Facebook newsfeed, you’re hit with value-added content towards your personal/career development, or opportunities for new internships within your area, or afar. LinkedIn isn’t necessarily for people who are looking for jobs - it’s a place that is for lifelong learners and motivated individuals in their career and personal development.
Why should you use LinkedIn as a high school student?
Unlike other people (such as people who are already working), you have the unique ability to frame yourself as someone who’s curious, and not someone who’s desperately looking for a job. Many people, whether it’s business owners or people who are in “successful positions” get reached out to in which people ask for a job right away.
As a high school or university student, the professional class will be more open towards accepting and meeting up due to the fact that you won’t be asking for a job. A lot of professionals, whether it's accountants to entrepreneurs are willing to invest time into empowering the younger generation.
By realizing the position you’re in as a student right now, you now have a higher probability of being able to meet busy people who are doing the things you might be wanting to be in the future. With LinkedIn, you can use this as your platform to getting to know other people, possibly receive mentorship and referral opportunities.
This applies to any industry as well. As we’re located in Vancouver, B.C, there are tons of different companies that are based here. For example, if you’re an aspiring software engineer at highschool in the lower mainland, you can simply filter on LinkedIn, search up “software engineer intern” filter the location to Vancouver, and boom, you see people working at Slack, Microsoft and other companies that you might want to be apart of in the near future.
*Reality check: People in the professional world get jobs through referrals and knowing the right people. As qualified as you might be with the highest grades, if the other interviewee is best friends with the HR manager, it makes your chances a lot more difficult to be able to land this position. As sad as this is, this idea of your “network makes your net worth” will never die. It’s up to you now to be able to take advantage of this. Use LinkedIn, filter the people you want to learn from, and shoot them a personalized note and offer to take them out to lunch or coffee.
*One other side note: Don’t be afraid of rejection or the R bomb (read no replies). From an event I attended a couple of weeks ago, the speaker said something along these lines “The 10% of people who replied to me on LInkedIn made up the 90% in terms of value”. As soon as he graduated from university, he landed a job as a director of operations at a budding tech startup.
Now there’s the value. How should you use LinkedIn as a high school student?
There are 3 key factors to being able to extract value from LinkedIn.
- Have a complete profile. What this means is having all the sections filled out, a personalized cover photo, and having a somewhat professional profile photo. Add descriptions, your volunteer experiences, and skills. Click here to check out of our Community Coders Students who have a rock-solid profile as a highschool student.
- Actively Engage: What this consists of is commenting on other peoples post and adding people on LinkedIn that you either a) know or b) want to get to know. One key point to make is to not add random people or accept people that you don’t know. This will ruin the quality of your newsfeed and won’t have information that’s relevant to you. If you’re familiar with the $1.80 by Gary Vee, apply that on LinkedIn for your commenting strategy.
- Create Content: It’s super important for you to be a content creator on LinkedIn. Whether it’s your reflections or current experiences, start posting your thoughts on this platform. You might feel like as a high school student, you might not have any experience, but that’s your advantage. You can talk about your journey, the events you’ve attended, the scenarios you’ve seen in school, and just your daily environment and inspiration.
- Connect with recruiters: If you're looking for an internship or for a company to take a chance on you, start connecting, and introducing yourself to recruiters. Actively engage and talk to them, and let them get to know you as a person! You can do this by simply filtering and searching for the companies you want to work for, or do it in a geographical location!
What should I do as soon as I finish reading this blog?
- Schedule a free LinkedIn Consultation session with one of our team members to maximize your LinkedIn Profile.
- Start adding the people you know on LinkedIn.
- Start adding the people you would like to get to know, (make sure to add a personalized note)
- Start commenting on other peoples posts.