I had to add Linkedin to my list of apps I had to block during finals season last year. Linkedin is like the new Facebook for me, but not the me who likes to scroll through cat videos and Tasty. It’s for the resume obsessed, internship crazy me.
I opened my Linkedin account while I was trying to procrastinate and be productive at the same time. I convinced myself that the 10-page papers can wait because I had to build a career profile for myself. It started slowly: my name, my college, my interests…
Then I started adding all of my clubs, what position I was for each club and my accomplishments for each term. I neatly organized each position in chronological order, trying to be simultaneously detailed and concise for each description. Before I knew it, three hours had already gone by.
Linkedin became the ultimate excuse to procrastinate. I had already blocked Instagram, Messenger, and Facebook. I don’t use Twitter or Tumblr but if I did, they would be on my blacklist as well. Unfortunately, instead of working on my final papers, I would open a new tab and my fingers would already begin to type “l” and “i” in the search bar. Soon, I grew obsessed with making connections. I scrolled through snippets of news from the updates I got on my feed from Forbes, CNBC, and The Wall Street Journal.
I feel like the reason why Linkedin is so popular is that it serves a similar purpose as Facebook and Instagram. The latter two are made for people to post photos to let people know how great their lives are. Linkedin is where everyone rushes off to show the world how successful they are. We’re all being pretentious here, and I don’t say that in a necessarily bad way. I mean, you are trying to sell yourself for recruiters out there so you can get a great internship or a full-time job.
Here’s what you should expect and know before you delve into the world of Linkedin. Rule number one: do not create a profile when you are overwhelmed with things to do. You will end up like me, an exhausted, sleep deprived creature, typing away at 3 or 4 in the morning. Be aware that once you get the hang of it, you won’t stop working on your profile until it’s perfect.
Second, don’t feel like you need to connect with everyone on the platform. You don’t need to connect with Barack Obama (although that would be nice) to get an internship. You don’t need to be friends with Jeff Bezos (that would be nice too) to get a job. Start out small, like your friends and colleague, and your connections will begin to snowball.
Third, you should start on a Linkedin profile when you have the chance. Although my timing was off, I had a pretty solid profile by the end of my freshman year of college. I’ve noticed that a lot of job applications have a section to include your Linkedin URL. In fact, I am noticing that many companies are looking for Linkedin profiles more than CVs. They are basically the same thing. Linkedin, however, is more intractable and accessible, since it’s an online platform. You can also add media links to other sites and upload files. Having a Linkedin profile ready to go in my sophomore year saved me a lot of time when applying to internships last winter.
Finally, here’s a shameless plug: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cherynshin/