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  • Should First-Year Students Be on LinkedIn?

    August 02, 2017 | By NACE Staff

    Special Populations
    A college freshman sets up a LinkedIn account on her laptop.

    TAGS: technology, surveys, social media, nace insights, students

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    Should first-year students set up a LinkedIn account? Some NACE Community members say that, with guidance, it’s a great way for first-year students to start their career development process. Others, however, don’t agree.

    Here’s what some NACE Community members had to say:

    • If we can get students familiar with LinkedIn and out making connections early in their college career—that’s a win.
    • We encourage first-year students to create a resume and then a LinkedIn account with the help of someone on the career services team. We focus on LinkedIn as a platform for networking, job search, and industry education.
    • I’m involved with a high school business academy where students have successfully created a profile.
    • Our freshman experience course has a LinkedIn component. Career services presents on profile prep, best practices, usage, and navigation to resources in the system, along with site etiquette and effective communication.
    • Students present their profiles in class and get feedback. By sharing their profiles, it reinforces the importance and value of their work, volunteer experiences, projects, and coursework. It also helps students see how activities are broken down into definable skill sets.
    • LinkedIn is a great ice breaker where students make new relationships in response to learning about shared interests.
    • The sooner we can get students familiar with LinkedIn, the better. We host workshops to help student build profiles. It’s helpful for students to already have a resume prepared, so some of that content can be repurposed as part of the profile.
    • We make sure students understand the privacy settings in their profile and how to adjust what people can see.
    • Help students understand that their profile needs to be kept up to date by doing a Google test. I ask them to google themselves and look at the results. Students learn to control their piece of digital real estate.
    • I’m concerned for students—especially those who aren’t quite college-ready—who view a LinkedIn assignment in the first-year seminar as a class assignment and not realizing that once they publish their page, they must continue to develop, update, and keep their page current, or it could negatively impact their job search.
    • I recently heard from an employer that it would be better for students not to have a LinkedIn page than have one that is not done well or that is underdeveloped. As employers use LinkedIn as a resource, it’s vital that students understand the consequences of a poor page.

    What do you think? Join the conversation in the NACE Community.

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