College student working in a computer lab on their LinkedIn profile.

I had the pleasure of being a guest lecturer for #georgiancollege ‘s Paralegal program. I have delivered social media content advice in this program for the past few years, and it is always a rewarding experience helping students.

What’s all the fuss about LinkedIn?

The theme of my talk was “what’s all the fuss about LinkedIn?” In the presentation, I explained that, as students, the best time to begin developing their LinkedIn network is while in school. This is where networking begins, as the students in this cohort are the innovators of the industry of tomorrow. I recommend to any student to invite their colleagues and professors to connect, as there is a phenomenon I call the “grey market job market.” This is where the alchemy LinkedIn happens.

Getting ahead of the hiring curve

Every student will progress in their career at different speeds. Some may be hired as managers, some as Paralegals; others may be part of creating a new firm. Each person offers different levels of support for those colleagues seeking employment. For example, if student A is seeking a job, they can reach out to peers who are already employed in their field. These connections may know of an opening that hasn’t been formally posted. Student A now gains the advantage of not only having a contact within the organization but advance notice of an upcoming opportunity. They are ahead of the curve!

These connections can be as equally as valuable as one’s credentials. Having a network of school peers that knows student A’s work ethic and experience, these connections can now offer important information as well as introductions and recommendations to hiring managers. This soft handoff is important as it puts the prospective student in front of the decision-maker, sometimes ahead of the competition.

Chase your dreams

As #students, there are so many possibilities in front of you. Your professors are there to help guide and mentor you through difficult decisions and challenges in your education and, ultimately, your career. We want you to succeed, but more importantly, we want you to #chaseyourdreams!

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