In the first of two articles by Charles Hardy, Higher Education Partner at LinkedIn and LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com), he outlines why you should help your young person use LinkedIn (and it’s not just about finding jobs).

LinkedIn isn’t just about creating an “online CV” and making work-related connections – it also has features and information that can help individuals choose the right course and right university for their future aspirations. These tools provide access to information about real graduates from these universities and courses, and insights into what jobs they have done on to do after university. There are over 450m people on LinkedIn and many have entered their education details, and then their subsequent career path, so the data is very robust.

Explore Universities

Every university has a home on LinkedIn, and on that page (accessed via the main search bar) you and your teenager can tap into the “Career Insights” feature. This tool pulls together information on thousands of graduates on LinkedIn who went to specific universities and enables you both to explore where they work and what they do.

Select a subject area and see where graduates from that course work. Select a company and see what courses are most likely to lead to a job there, and which are the top listed skills for people working there. In short, there’s lots of information on real careers to help your teenager make decisions about theirs.

Explore Employers

Most companies have pages on LinkedIn. You can use the main search bar to find ones you are interested in. Once on their page consider opting to “Follow” the organisation, meaning that you will receive their updates, news and job alerts into your own newsfeed or help your teenager to set up an appropriate page themselves. (As ever, encourage them to take care of the personal details they share on line). As users, you and your teen can also explore the people who work there – what they do, how they have developed their careers to reach their current roles, what they say about working there. Companies often have included further information about careers and working there. Look for the “Careers” or “Life at….” sub-pages for cultural insights and employee testimonials.

Then, of course, there are jobs – either from the Company page or via the link in the top menu, to help people search for jobs they are interested in. When you view a job, you’ll find more useful information on LinkedIn than anywhere else – not just the job description, but also information about the company, about people who are doing that job already, the top skills needed, and also similar jobs to that one you’re looking at (maybe at companies you haven’t heard of).

LinkedIn and these features are free to all registered users. Set up your professional profile (your online CV), including your work experience and educational qualifications, plus other awards and skills; add connections from your school / college / university, and your work experience; and get ahead with real insights on different careers, employers and jobs.

Download the LinkedIn App, or visit www.linkedin.com

Image source: lynda.com

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