Using LinkedIn to Search for Internships

Making Use of Social Networking Sites Like LinkedIn

••• Justin Sullivan/Staff

LinkedIn has quickly become the elite of social networking sites for professionals. Unlike Facebook, that encourages you in sharing what movie you saw last night and where you went on vacation, LinkedIn is focused on people and how to make connections to learn more about jobs and industry leaders in their field.

Many students know about and have used LinkedIn but I’m still surprised at the number of students who have either never heard of it or who say I started a LinkedIn Profile but I never finished it and I’ve never gone back.

The value of LinkedIn is connections. Building connections on LinkedIn is easy once you understand the value and get the hang of it.

Companies tap into LinkedIn for many reasons:

Step #1: Supervisors usually have their LinkedIn Profiles where they can use it to reach out and make connections with people currently working or looking to get into the field.

Step #2: Companies can participate in LinkedIn Groups where they can communicate with individuals who are interested in the company or in a specific career field or industry.

Step #3: Recruiters and company management can search for people based on their knowledge, skills, and previous experience and can check out their employment history to see if they would be a good fit for the organization.

Step #4: LinkedIn provides a way for people to find potential contacts that they can connect with to learn about potential internships or jobs.

Ways to Use LinkedIn in Your Internship Search:

Now, this is the meat and potatoes of LinkedIn. Once you’ve created a professional Profile that represents you well, it’s now time to work on building your connections to increase the potential upside of being on LinkedIn. Check with your college to see if they have a LinkedIn group where you can instantly connect with thousands of people who have already joined and are participating on LinkedIn. Each time you meet someone new, check to see if they are on LinkedIn and ask them to connect.

Once an applicant sends in their resume and completes an interview with the company if the company is interested in hiring them for an internship the next step will be to check references and get recommendations from people they know and they have worked with.

  1. Create a LinkedIn ProfileA LinkedIn Profile is how you will represent yourself online. It’s important to take the time to create an effective LinkedIn Profile that will get results. Be sure to include all of your past history, such as education, academics, volunteer, activities, summer jobs, and internships to represent yourself professionally online. Your LinkedIn Profile will act as your online resume, so it’s important that it’s detailed, complete, and has no errors. Be sure you use a professional looking photo in your Profile that will make you marketable and recognized across the web.
  1. Build Your Network:
  2. Get Recommendations:

You may want to check out this video, “How to Ask for References After an Internship,”, to better understand the reference process.

On LinkedIn, a company can check your Profile and may choose to contact you while also having the ability to view your recommendations. It is a huge advantage when comparing potential candidates especially since the position has not even been advertised so the competition may be less tough.

Search for Internships and Jobs:

You can search for internships and jobs on LinkedIn. Check out companies and the job search section to uncover opportunities in a career field and location of interest.

Find People on LinkedIn:

An excellent way to find previous colleagues, managers, professors, peers, and even alumni of your college is to use the “Advanced” button on the right side of the search bar. It is here that you can enter a keyword, first name, last name, title, company, school (college), and location to find people you may want to connect with. You will also get invitations to connect from those who view your Profile and want to connect online.

All you have to do is get started. Once your Profile is established, you can begin using all of the functionalities that LinkedIn was set to do. It’s quite easy to maintain and, unlike Facebook, you won’t need to change it on a daily basis. Updating the information every few months is enough and please don’t feel that you have to connect with everyone that wants to connect with you.