LinkedIn is often considered a place for college students and working professionals to connect, which means it isn’t usually a resource that high schoolers tap into just yet. This is a huge misconception: LinkedIn can be a great place for high schoolers to learn about networking, land an internship, and build their network. Utilizing LinkedIn’s resources allows teens to explore and take charge of what they want to learn.
Of course, navigating a new site for the first time can be a bit tricky — this holds true for LinkedIn, too. To help high schoolers, here are three ways high schoolers can get started with using LinkedIn.
Start Creating A Professional Profile
Your resume is one of the most important documents you’ll rely on time and time again throughout your career, and LinkedIn is a great place to store this information. As noted by Harvard career experts, a great LinkedIn profile provides a snapshot of your experience, background, and interests. You also have a bit more wiggle room to flesh out your accomplishments and work experience in full, as well as include skills that other LinkedIn users can then endorse you for. While you should master the skill of creating a concise resume to send out to people, a LinkedIn profile makes it easier for potential colleges or employers to learn more about you. Revisit your profile every six months to make sure you keep it updated.
Connect To Other Users And Build Your Network
The concept of building a network might sound daunting, but networking in your teens can make the process of navigating adulthood a lot less intimidating. There are many ways to start building your network; current commerce student Max Georgopoulos relied on internet forums to get some much-needed insight into his dream program. Whether you want to learn more about a specific school or program or discover your career path, LinkedIn provides a database of trusted users that you can filter according to school, profession, or interests. As a bonus, LinkedIn was made specifically for networking. This means that people are expecting to connect with others on the platform, and the chances of finding someone willing to talk to you, or even mentor, you are quite high.
Use LinkedIn’s Learning Courses
LinkedIn has invested heavily in its online course offerings to provide more avenues for professional growth. While many courses revolve around taking your career to the next level, LinkedIn also offers lessons on topics that can help even in one’s personal life, such as how to save or manage finances. Taking advantage of this is crucial, as a Marcus article on saving maintains that building your savings is the one financial skill you should start learning in your teens. Your adult career depends on mastering key life skills such as financial responsibility and the like. In fact, LinkedIn Learning’s vice president of product management Hari Srinivasan notes that the most popular courses focus on developing good habits, like building resilience or creating a productive morning routine.
We’ve previously touched on how LinkedIn is every college applicant’s secret weapon, and that still holds true. Aside from reaching out to people, building a LinkedIn profile is a great way to advertise yourself to future connections as well as learn a life skill or two.
By Penelope Wolowitz