What is LinkedIn anyway? You can think of it as Facebook for professionals. It's a social network where you can begin to establish yourself in the working world. It's a place where you can look for new opportunities to grow your career and connect with others, a place where you can build a successful path for your future. Another way to look at it is a living resume that you can update over time.
OK. What should I do?
Create a profile. Think about establishing your personal digital brand, and share everything that's great about you! You'll want to have a clean, professional picture to upload so that people who connect with you and future employers can see that you mean business. Add your education. In the summary section, provide some information about yourself including future goals and what you wish to accomplish. As you add to your profile, you should include experiences and skills that would be useful in the workforce (volunteer, camp counselor, etc.). You can also highlight accomplishments (captain of a sports team, debate club, etc.). Be sure to include the best way to contact you (cell phone, professional email).
Start connecting. Now that your profile's ready to go, it's time to start connecting. Search for classmates, friends, teachers, coaches and anyone else who could potentially help you in your career.
Keep your profile up to date. Regularly add any new accomplishments, experiences and skills. Making this a routine habit! Realize that the first thing most employers will do is Google you. Your LinkedIn profile will show up near the top of the search, so you want it to showcase your latest achievements.
Great. Now what?
Ask adults that you work with to write LinkedIn recommendations for you.
Search for companies and fields of work for internships and/or entry-level jobs.
Continue to build your network connections with employers or mentors.
The connections you make on LinkedIn will be incredibly valuable to you as you look to grow professionally. Each and every one has the potential of opening the doors to vast opportunities.