How and why Sixth Formers should start using LinkedIn

PCL Employabiltiy workshop

Caroline, Student Liaison Officer at Pearson College provides an insight into why she thinks LinkedIn is a beneficial network for Sixth Form students

Over the last year I have been bravely showing Sixth formers my LinkedIn profile as part of our employability workshops. It’s been great to see them open up to the benefits of getting on LinkedIn early and the realisation that there’s so much information at their finger tips.

I believe it’s helpful for Sixth Formers for 2 main reasons;

To research their own career options

· A simple search of LinkedIn members who went to their school can open their eyes to the wide range of job titles available beyond what online careers guidance questionnaire results. It also makes it more real to read about professionals from the same school as them.

· They can search the longer term career prospects of a course. Universities graduate destinations data only looks at the first 6 months after university, but that is not really the measure of a successful and satisfying career. Sixth form students should look much boarder when making their course choices.

· Searching through job vacancies is also a useful exercise to have an early understanding of what employers are looking for.

To start building a profile

· The competition in the graduate jobs market means that those with internships and work experience get ahead. Students should start having a presence on LinkedIn to help them in applying for these opportunities early.

· Joining groups and forums related to their career interests should help them develop their understanding of a profession and provide juicy examples in an interview.

· They could take it a step further and start to contribute to groups and presenting their thoughts to get the attention of universities and hiring managers.