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It is never too early to start networking. Exchanging numbers, developing relationships, handing out business cards, etc. are all important in the pursuit of finding on campus jobs, internships, and jobs in the real world, as well.
LinkedIn, the social media for adults, proves to be a very capable tool to tackle the very idea of networking. LinkedIn allows you to keep an updated resume, portfolio, and a brief summary about yourself that gives you the opportunity to sell your personal brand.
When creating a LinkedIn account, it is important to have a few things: a professional headshot, a professional email address, a resume, and that aforementioned portfolio, if possible.
All these things should be professional; however, they should still be true to you. That idea of a “personal brand” is what sets you apart in the eyes of employers. One could argue that your personal summary is the most important part of your LinkedIn profile.
The summary allows for users to display their personality in a few paragraphs. These paragraphs should display their wit, values, and accomplishments in a way that reflects the individual in their truest sense. This sections allows for more freedom and personalization than any other feature on LinkedIn, and, if used correctly, can set you miles apart from any competition.
While networking should, by no means, be limited to LinkedIn, the website does offer an outlet for the job search process that is acclimated to the 21st century.