How to Use LinkedIn to Get an Internship

What is LinkedIn? 🤔

LinkedIn is an extremely popular networking social media site that professionals around the world use. Similar to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms, LinkedIn allows you to share information about yourself but in a more professional manner. 💼

Instead of "follows" on LinkedIn, you can make "connections" with people you have worked with or have similar career paths with. People's content on this platform is more about business ventures, new jobs, and inspirational/motivational posts instead of pictures of your dogs or cats. 🌐

Another thing that makes LinkedIn distinct is that all of these posts are typically very formal in tone because of the professional nature of the social network. 🤵

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Should High Schoolers Join LinkedIn? 🏫

Yes! Once you turn 16 years-old (LinkedIn's minimum age), you can join the social network and begin connecting with professionals right away. In the past, people as young as 14 were able to join. In 2017, however, LinkedIn changed its official age policy to restrict its services to "anyone under the age of 16." 🛑

Please don't lie on your LinkedIn account about your age! While LinkedIn is super exciting to explore for newbies, it's super important to stay truthful on this website because it can affect the jobs that you can obtain in the future! Remember, while this is social media, it's still used for professional networking. 🥂

What Are the Benefits to LinkedIn? 👍

There are many benefits to this platform, but the few I will go over today are: connecting with professionals, job opportunities, and having a place to store your resume. 🏪

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1️⃣ Connecting with Professionals 🗣

Connecting with professionals was the main driving force behind the creation of LinkedIn as a social network. As a result, it's no surprise to learn that this is one of the most used functions on the app/website! 📈

Connecting with professionals with similar backgrounds and interests can lead to fantastic phone calls and insightful meetings where you can learn about the realities behind working in specific industries. After "connecting" with someone's profile, you can message them through LinkedIn's chats or contact them through their listed contacts in their profile. 💭

You can gain professional friends, grant and receive recommendations, and even gain jobs by meeting people. In the same way that people have become best friends through One Direction Instagram fan pages (😳), you can become friends with people very similar to you, but in this case, the fan pages are made by you and about you! 🤩

2️⃣ Job Opportunities 🔨

In LinkedIn, you can apply for jobs and open up your profile to job recruiters for specific positions. When creating your profile, you can place job/career interests onto your profile and open up your profile to recruiters of employment in those categories or all positions in general! 📬

Warning though: you might get a TON of messages if you choose the latter. Additionally, you can specify where you live and how long you are willing to commute for these jobs. While this job feature is typically used for young adults or adults, this feature is still available for high schoolers, and those who are qualified for the positions should have no problem with getting a job through LinkedIn. 😌

3️⃣ Resume Storage 📦

Personally, I find that LinkedIn's ability to help you organize an online resume is one of the most beneficial parts of the platform. The platform gives you different categories of potential accomplishments and things to add to your resume. You're prompted to fill out the information with times, dates, location, and a description. Because people typically change their LinkedIn profiles when their jobs change, you can have a history of all of the jobs/positions you have held in the past! ⌚

Are There Any Downsides to LinkedIn? 👎

Unfortunately, like any other social media platform, there are some downsides to LinkedIn. A significant downside to LinkedIn is the prevalence of bots and scammers! This might surprise some, but there are a lot of fake accounts on LinkedIn or people with multi-level marketing schemes that mass-message tons of people on LinkedIn. When first joining this website, it might be overwhelming to receive so many messages, and it might require some time to learn how to filter between genuine people and those out to scam you. 🔍

Another huge downside to LinkedIn is how toxic the environment on the platform can become. Because the platform is based around professional achievements, people often come onto LinkedIn to flaunt their various accomplishments and “show off” the things they have achieved in their professional lives. 💎

While this can be very inspiring and empowering, people can sometimes feel insecure about their own professional lives. LinkedIn’s normalization of posting the schools, awards, projects, jobs, and internships can affect someone’s mental health if they are not already used to a very competitive job environment. However, if you approach LinkedIn with the right mindset and are careful about who you network with on the site, it can be SO beneficial to your professional career! 🌟

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