In today’s post we are going to take a look across the pond to our friends in the US and in particular, the launch of LinkedIn Students, an app that aims to help graduates build a professional network and begin their career.
Career service and university colleagues will probably think of LinkedIn as an online CV. However, the sector has recently become aware of its importance as a research tool, career explorer, and news aggregator. It’s not just professionals taking advantage, students are too. As students are their fastest growing demographic LinkedIn has put a tremendous amount of effort into building and releasing LinkedIn Students which hits app stores in the US yesterday (18/04/2016). Depending on its success, the UK will hopefully see its release in the next few months -that means we have some time to prepare!
Take a look at what you can expect and the key actions for UK universities below. When previewing LinkedIn Students, one thing is clear, it’s about building networks and not about news or the huge amount of features currently used by professionals. The app focuses on the essential information that will allow students to form a network from the ground up depending on where and what they have studied as well as suggesting graduate jobs.
Here's a sneak preview!
Name, university, course and proposed graduation date are the fields required for students to get started. Upon submission, students can look forward to recommended roles to give them some career inspiration. One great feature is that not all roles may be directly related to their degree as the LinkedIn Students algorithm takes skills obtained into account. On the job page, students can then tap on any position to view:
- salary range
- growth rate
- applicable skills
- role details
- available jobs
- companies that are hiring
- alumni from their university who have taken that career path
[Pro tip: Optimise your LinkedIn profile's look]
Above: LinkedIn Students app preview of the roles card
Image Credit: Screenshot
Three additional key features
Students will be able to scroll through articles curated by influencers that are designed to resonate with students such as what Richard Branson went through when he was 21.
With an aim to increase alumni outreach, this card ideally shows alumni from the same course 2-5 years after graduating who students may be inspired by. Failing that, older alumni will appear.
3. Refine and explore
Students can refine their recommendations by completing the 'extra credit' section. Yet, this doesn't seem to be completely necessary to make good use of the app.
Key actions for universities and career centres
- Pre - launch: Encourage alumni to join LinkedIn and correctly reference your institution before the app launch in the UK. Students who use the app will not only be greeted with more relevant alumni to interact with but it will also boost your numbers on the crucial University Page on the main LinkedIn site. Use the handy LinkedIn ‘Add to Profile’ tool to make adding your institution to profiles that little bit easier.
- Submit employability events to the app including career fairs and recruitment events
- Post - launch: Take advantage of LinkedIn's full arsenal of features to help boost your students' employability beyond using it as an online CV.
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