By Joseph D’Andrea
With so much being moved to an online setting in the 21st century, it has allowed for much more convenience, especially regarding communication. However, with this convenience comes the removal of a crucial aspect of growing your network as someone seeking work at the moment or down the line: personal interactions.
Yes, email can save time and effort, but the one-dimensional nature of it strips any chance for a real connection to be made. (I often add an exclamation mark to the end of sentences to seem more human.) But to say that an online conversation is more dull than submitting a paper resume isn’t accurate. As someone looking for a job, your efforts shouldn’t stop at a simple reach-out to a potential employer. There is much more that you can do to prove your worth and that’s what LinkedIn is for.
So, no, everything being digital isn’t completely a bad thing — in fact, more good than bad has come from this change — but you need to learn how to take advantage of the platforms available to you.
LinkedIn is like the resume-maker of the future! Except, we’re already living in that future. And yet, some people still don’t have an account of their own.
Unlike a resume that simply shows your education, GPA, work experience and possibly even volunteer work and other projects (as well as other “skills”), LinkedIn can bring your profile to life.
Data and analytics reporting website Demandsage noted that “LinkedIn has 15 times more content impressions than job postings” in a 2024 statistic report of the company that has attracted over a billion users worldwide. Since LinkedIn offers more varied possibilities to its users, it makes sense that companies seek out the website when looking for future employees.
One type of additional feature users can take advantage of to highlight their talents is the “add media” tab. Not only can you explain your role at a previous job but you can attach samples of work that prove your worth. Whether it’s an article you wrote or was written about you, videos, photos, a website, miscellaneous PDFs or PowerPoints — the list goes on. The interactive nature of the platform makes an employer’s viewing of your profile more engaging and well-rounded. They can get a greater sense of the actual work that you did, while being able to view the actual assets, as opposed to a one-sentence statement on a sheet of paper.
Additionally, LinkedIn provides the opportunity to “connect” with many different people, from coworkers to friends, family, peers and supervisors, but also individuals you may never have met before. For example, I’m a history major interested in doing research on early twentieth-century American history in the future, which I explicitly mention on my profile. One day I opened the app to see that a coordinator from the National Archives in New York “connected” with me. Not only that, but I noticed that she had also connected with my current coworkers previously, which is most likely how she found me. This grapevine of people on LinkedIn can be extremely helpful in creating relationships with those who may be able to guide you in the right direction and possibly offer you a job.
It’s important to acknowledge that there still needs to be a unified standard of some sort, though. Just because LinkedIn is extremely helpful and can make your worth pop off the page, it’s understandable that not everyone is able to make an account, whether it’s an issue of lack of internet access or tech-savviness. Additionally, an argument can be made that a flashy profile may look more appealing than that of someone who may be more qualified but less active on the app; just because you’re good at using the app and marketing yourself doesn’t inherently make you a better candidate.
Even so, it doesn’t hurt to have a LinkedIn page — it’s easy to create, use and update and is a simple way to get your name out there.