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Hey high-school students! Did you know that the minimum age for having a LinkedIn account is just 16? Many high schools now teach students how to use of LinkedIn for networking. I think that’s brilliant. LinkedIn offers tips for high-school students wanting to set up a LinkedIn account for networking. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/linkedin-tips-high-school-students-judy-schramm/ It’s pretty helpful. Check it out.
However, what’s incredibly cool is how LinkedIn can be a high-school student’s powerful research tool to find colleges and careers. Teens can tap into the power of LinkedIn to find potential careers and colleges that may interest you.
Today, I’m talking to the high-school student (or parent of a student) who has no earthly clue what they want to major in at college. What’s worse is the fact that this cluelessness is holding up their entire college search. Many teens think that before they start looking at schools, they have to figure out what they want to do with the rest of their lives. False! (Thank you, Dwight Schrute).
You do NOT need to choose a major before you go to college. Many students head to college believing that they’ll figure it out along the way, and most of them do. Even your friends who sound incredibly sure of themselves about what they want to do with the rest of their lives will likely change their mind.
Use LinkedIn as a research tool to find interesting careers and colleges.
First step for high school students is to set up a LinkedIn account.
Head on over to LinkedIn and follow the steps to create your account. You can choose to add information to your profile right away, or stick to the bare minimum for now. You can always update your profile later.
Next, teens can tap into LinkedIn for career research.
LinkedIn is a gigantic search engine you can use to research companies, jobs they offer, the people who work for those companies and even the career paths of those employees! Imagine how powerful this insight could be when considering your own career and educational path.
As one example, I used the Search tool at the top of the LinkedIn homepage to search a company I’ve always admired: Adidas. Once I landed on Adidas’ company profile page, I scrolled down and took note of what I could learn there:
- Holy cow! Is that gorgeous, super cool building their office?
- Wow, they just launched a new Brand Center in Beijing!
- Hey, cool article about the legendary Stan Smith
- Under their About section, I learned that they have 60K employees worldwide and could view their company locations on a global map.
High school students can learn what types of jobs exist by using the Jobs section of LinkedIn.
Sticking with my Adidas search, I clicked on the Jobs tab of their company profile. I found some really interesting titles, like this. At this point, I have no idea what some of these words even mean, but if there’s one that piqued my interest, I clicked on the job and could read the job description, which gave me a really good sense of whether or not that’s a job I’d enjoy.
For example, I clicked on a job posting for a “Copywriter Digital Creative” because I like writing, and I like being creative. I had to wade through a bunch of words I barely understood, but I did learn some things that this job would entail, the types of titles a copywriter would work with, AND I learned under “Requirements” that they’d be looking for someone who’d majored in something related to Writing, Creative Writing, Communications or “Other Media”. Hmmmmm….super helpful.
Narrow your job search by using keywords to zero in on topics of interest.
Maybe it sounds too time-consuming to navigate to job postings by starting with a company search. No problem! You can access the Jobs section of LinkedIn from the homepage and narrow your search by entering keywords into the search tool. Maybe you have a family friend who has a career in Marketing, and you think that sounds interesting. Type “marketing” into the search tool and choose any location that sounds intriguing. You’ll be amazed how much you’ll learn about the types of jobs, titles and careers that exist within your broad field of interest.
Dig deeper by looking at People profiles.
Once you find a job title that really interests you, go back to the homepage. Use the search tool to type in the title you’d like to know more about. I typed in VP Marketing to see what people have that job title. I then clicked on a profile for someone who is a VP of Marketing at a company I think is super cool: Google.
Once I was on his profile page, I could scroll down and see not only information about the job he currently has, but also what he’d done before that. This is called his “career path”. This is important because while my goal may be to one day be a Vice President of Marketing, I need to understand the jobs and steps that come before that. I was even able to see where this person attended college and what he majored in!
High-school students keep digging, keep exploring to find potential careers and colleges using LinkedIn.
One profile won’t tell you everything you need to know. You’ll need to keep exploring to confirm your findings, expand your understanding and identify options for both colleges and careers that you should check out.
I guarantee that reallocating some of your scroll time to LinkedIn from Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube will help you identify some outstanding options for career categories and colleges that should be on your list for consideration.
Get our free LinkedIn Training Video!
We created an entire 30-minute training video that goes into detail about how you can unlock the power of LinkedIn for your college and career research, and we’d LOVE to send it to you. Email us to let us know you’re interested, and we’ll send it your way!