Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. Let’s add one more to the list. For most of you, it’s likely that you’ve already used or currently use some form of social media. But the one that will get you the furthest in college is actually something few people consider to be social media: LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, through which you can connect with friends, coworkers, and even potential employers. You can create a profile for free just by going to https://www.linkedin.com/ and signing up. What makes LinkedIn stand out is that it is primarily a place for you to post your academic and professional accomplishments (i.e. getting accepted into the University of Wisconsin-Madison!) though some users may also update their followers on career advice or life experiences. It’s essentially a starting point for those struggling with adulting.
When making your profile, be sure to include a professional-looking headshot (remember to smile!) as well as your most recent resume. You can also choose to list previous and current experiences, which include part-time jobs, internships and your on-campus activities! Funny enough, you can access some helpful videos on how to build a great LinkedIn profile through LinkedIn learning, which is provided for free to all UW-Madison students.
If you’re worried that you don’t have enough connections in your current network, don’t worry — everyone starts somewhere! When I was a freshman, I was jokingly told to give out my LinkedIn at group gatherings instead of my Instagram. Strangely enough, those were some of the best words of advice I’ve ever received.