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Kristen Durkin

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Exploring Your Career Using LinkedIn

Posted: 06/23/11 11:45 AM ET

LinkedIn.com has had much to boast about since its 2002 inception, having exceeded 100 Million members the professional social network has become a prime resource for corporations looking to recruit talent. Both internal Human Resources and third party recruiters are turning to LinkedIn for innovative avenues to attract new hires. Since going public last month, LinkedIn has continued to proactively provide resources not only for hiring authorities, but also for those actively and passively keeping eye on new opportunities.

As the emerging workforce graduates with their Bachelor's and Master's degrees, LinkedIn launched Career Explorer to assist college students and recent graduates navigate their career choices. Over 73 of Fortune 100's have used LinkedIn hiring solutions, not to mention those professionals using the network to keep in touch with professional connections -- it is needless to say college students and recent graduates should have their own best interest and create a member profile. The Career Explorer tool in particular works in several ways to help aid students with knowledge surrounding their selections of college majors, entry-level career opportunities, networking opportunities, internships and even realistic expectations surrounding starting salaries.

Career Explorer is seemingly timely and can be found under the Jobs tab of a LinkedIn profile. It will allow the student to create and compare career paths. It works to permit college students to enter their current major, choose a degree and enter a desired industry. The path will thereafter produce results of common careers taken by people with similar backgrounds as those qualifications entered. It is also possible to enter a unique title and search the path of your particular title search. Upon producing results LinkedIn aggregates data to show you where those jobs are geographically located and what the typical age groups those professional titles fall within. The tool also surfaces the members' connections that have similar backgrounds.

Navigating and exploring career paths is crucial whether it is on or offline, but with a generation who is tied to their smart phones, tablets and computers it seems like more students are visiting professional social networks than ever. LinkedIn Blogger, Leela Srinivasan stated the LinkedIn platform is receiving roughly 200,000 new college student member profiles per month.

Whether you're thinking about your college major, recently graduated with a specific job function in mind or conducting competitive research on where people with similar career objectives ended up five years after graduation, this is certainly a tool worth exploring.

In order to maintain a good impression on LinkedIn, before reaching out to potential connections or mentors be sure to have completed your profile 100 percent. This means you have added a photo, linked your educational information, entered your job history, requested recommendations, added a summary of objectives and connected with peers, colleagues or even past professors. Be sure to have all of your experience (internships count too) listed clearly on LinkedIn, you can do that by importing your resume.

Remember, although you may be exploring career paths, recruiters may be exploring your background.

 

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