LinkedIn is a wonderful career networking site for people who have work experience. You can fill in your employment and educational histories and display professional recommendations. For a lot of students, LinkedIn has not been a useful venue because many do not have any previous jobs to list. Last Friday, in an effort to attract more student users, LinkedIn added new student-friendly profile sections. According to LinkedIn, the sections were added "to help students showcase the skills and experiences they’ve achieved during their school years."
The new LinkedIn profile sections include: Projects, Honors & Awards, Organizations, Test Scores, and Courses.
I think it's both a shrewd move by LinkedIn and a boon for students that these new sections have been created. For LinkedIn, it opens the door for more users while maintaining the site as the marquee professional social networking portal. Presumably, students will start using LinkedIn (via profiles) at an earlier stage of their career. Becoming familiar with LinkedIn can be very useful for students who upon graduation are entering an extremely competitive job market.
What do you think? Will students use LinkedIn now that they can add their non-employment-related activities? How will career services departments react to this new development?
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