5 Reasons Automotive Students Should Have LinkedIn Profiles
LinkedIn is a social media network that’s been around for over a decade, but you don’t really hear people talking about it that often. This is probably because its not as ‘mainstream’ as the other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Instead of using it to post pictures of your brunch or even a cute #ootd selfie, LinkedIn is designed to be a platform for social networking in a professional context. This means that instead of listing down your favourite Drake quotes as picture captions, or listing down your favourite Harry Potter movies by rank, your LinkedIn profile is designed for you to demonstrate your academic qualifications, projects you’ve worked on, and even your volunteering experience (if you want to).
In many cases, people only pay attention to their own LinkedIn profiles when they’re searching for a new job, but there seems to be a growing trend of people contributing to the platform more often in the form of posts, updates, and even blog posts.
So why does any of this matter to you, as a student in an automotive college?
Can you as a student gain any benefit from setting up a LinkedIn profile right now?
Yes. Yes, there’s plenty for you to gain, and it really does matter whether or not you have a presence on LinkedIn. Let me share with you five reasons why I believe this is true.
Reason 1: Establishing A Presence
As mentioned above, people usually start building up their LinkedIn profiles when they’re desperately searching for an internship or a job. What people neglect to understand is that creating a presence online, be it on LinkedIn or any other network, takes time and effort to do right.
The key here is to get started when there is no urgent need yet. Start a profile and familiarize yourself with LinkedIn’s features, slowly adding to your profile over time.
When the moment comes for you to look for an internship position or even a full-time, part-time, or contract role, you’ll already be miles ahead of your peers!
Reason 2: Understand the Industry Landscape
You’re planning on joining the automotive industry someday, which is why you’re devoting time to pursuing your course at a top automotive college. Much like Reason 1 mentioned above, most people only start to open their eyes and seek to understand the automotive industry when its suddenly time to find an internship or a job.
Why wait? LinkedIn is the perfect platform to start doing that from the comfort of your chair. Car companies, automotive executives, automotive recruiters, and even other automotive college students just like you are already on the platform. Unlike Facebook for example, on LinkedIn the practice of adding complete strangers is the norm.
This platform is a great resource to help keep you up-to-date with the overall automotive industry and also for you to understand what kind of jobs are available on the market. This way, when you graduate from your automotive school and enter the workforce, you’ll do so with a sense of confidence that your classmates may not have yet!
Reason 3: Interacting with Peers (Groups)
Once you find people from the automotive industry to add onto your LinkedIn contacts list, start interacting with them. Send them a message to introduce yourself, or even sign up for a group! There are plenty of existing groups for jobseekers and students of all backgrounds.
However, don’t be surprised if someone doesn’t reply your message very often. Remember, not everyone is as active on LinkedIn as they are on other social media platforms!
Reason 4: Networking with Key People
Other than peers, LinkedIn is a great platform to interact with Key People. My definition of this term would include recruiters or Human Resources staff at automotive companies, or even industry and thought leaders at companies you’re hoping to work for someday.
Try and make friends with some of them by sending them a message asking for career advice, perhaps. Having friends in the industry will go a long way towards landing you a great first job in the industry.
Reason 5: Professional Development
On top of all the reasons mentioned above, LinkedIn is also known for its articles published by the Key People mentioned above, and its professional development content. Pick up basic skills such as how to write your first CV / resumé or even things like how to behave during an interview, all on LinkedIn as well!
Remember: Linkedin is a social media platform for professionals, and you are an automotive professional in training.
Don’t wait until graduation to start establishing your professional online presence. After all, it will not cost you a single cent!