Creating a resume and building a professional network has never been easier, but it seems that in any profession it helps to have connections, and that is what LinkedIn attempts to provide for its users– but it seems to have failed at California Baptist University.
LinkedIn has a lot to offer when it comes to initiating conversations and making connections with potential employers, but few CBU students find it useful, or have even heard of it.
LinkedIn has a quick and user-friendly sign-up page that requires only an email address. In addition, there is also an option to sync with a Facebook account, making the sign-up process simpler.
Once a profile is created, the user can add work experience, education and other skills to build an online resume. This resume is seen by a vast network of users, including, but not limited to, companies that are looking to hire.
After the site collects information about the user’s past professional life, LinkedIn then suggests groups that coincide with similar work experiences and interests. For the most part, these shared interests are business-related, and will allow LinkedIn users to develop professional relationships that can lead to professional opportunities.
Students at CBU might find that based on the university they have selected, LinkedIn will suggest they join the Southern Baptist Convention group. This group helps students to establish connections with more than 8,000 Baptists.
LinkedIn is a valuable resource for professionals. However, if it fails to market to a demographic, the members of that demographic will not help build the numbers LinkedIn relies on.
LinkedIn can also be connected to other social media accounts, allowing users to sync their contacts for those social media sites. This helps LinkedIn users to build connections with as many acquaintences as possible – the purpose of the site.
As far as CBU goes, LinkedIn is currently unsuccessful in its attempts to market to and recruit users. The CBU group on LinkedIn has only 137 followers. LinkedIn directs its marketing toward those who have a professional lifestyle, and are looking to make professional connections.
Nate Stevens, freshman photography and philosophy double major, said he does not think LinkedIn is particularly useful.
“I don’t get the point of people who have never seen your work qualify you,” Stevens said.
Hannah Sorola, American sign language interpreter at CBU, said, “I don’t think I have anything to link.”
It seems that there are even some CBU students who have either never heard of LinkedIn, or do not know what the point of the website is.
“I have (a LinkedIn account), but I haven’t been on it in ages,” said Angela Martinez, sophomore criminal justice major. “I got one at first because a close friend of mine said it was a good way for people to notice you, for job opportunities, mostly.”
She may not use it much now, but Martinez keeps it as a resource for future opportunities.
There are also students who are doubtful whether LinkedIn could be helpful to them. These students have not found connections with limited use of the site in which they are interested.
LinkedIn can be beneficial to both the professional looking for a career, and to employers seeking those professionals. The idea is to make as many connections as possible because a missed connection could mean a missed opportunity.