The Power of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the most useful social media for today’s job search. There are over 1 billion users on the platform that have to be authentic and genuine. This article will explore the power of LinkedIn, my success with it, and the Career Services resources.

My Success:

As a current 3rd year with over 1,600 connections, I’ve had many successes with LinkedIn. My connections include Illinois Tech students and alumni, fellow alumni from my middle/high school, building performance simulation professionals, and built environment professionals.

My first success is how I gained over 1,600 connections. The first reason is being active in professional associations and connecting with members and association staff I met at events and interacted with. I’m active with IBPSA-USA and ASHRAE through Illinois Tech’s Student Branch. The second reason is cold connecting with employees at my target companies to inquire about the companies themselves and their career offerings.  The third reason is being active by posting and reacting regularly which allows me to be noticed and receive connection requests from current Illinois Tech students and professionals. The final reason is connecting with alumni.

My second success is receiving opportunities to apply for internships. Through cold connections with professionals in my industry, I was able to receive opportunities to apply for internships without directly asking for them. When I start applying for summer internships I utilize the open-to-work feature and make an accompanying post. For summer 2024, after I made the post a connection messaged me to reach out to follow up in the new year, and once I did I received an interview without going through HR.

Power of LinkedIn:

1. Professional Networking

With the number of users, you can easily connect with professionals in your industry and those in your target companies. Send them a connection request with a short message that initiates a conversation.

2. Industry Insights

Professionals will regularly post updates about the industry, cool industry technologies, and their journey. Professional associations will also post about their work and some of the work impacts the whole industry. These posts can help you get an understanding of the industry you will be spending your career in. Some companies during an interview might ask you if you know the current news in your industry.

3. Career and Skill Development

LinkedIn provides articles on career development and improving your skills. There are LinkedIn Skill Pages that help with skills from every corner of every industry.

Career Services Resources:

1. LinkedIn Whisperer

Senior Career Coach Bernie Floresca is Career Services’ in-house LinkedIn expert. He helps students maximize their usage of LinkedIn, how to cold connect, and tips on following up with connections. You can schedule an appointment with him via Handshake and connect with him on LinkedIn.

2. LinkedIn Group

All Illinois Tech students should join the Career Services LinkedIn group where you can receive career tips, see success stories, and get updated on Career Services events and offerings.

3. LinkedIn Group Index

Check out the LinkedIn Group Index which categorizes posts in the group by topic and is the best place to find posts that matter. Some topics are #alumni, #BusinessRelations, #Resume, #Mindset, and #Internship.

At the end of the day, LinkedIn is an important tool to help you succeed in finding a job and keeping up-to-date with your industry.

Jason Zhou (Architectural Engineering & Minor in Sustainability), Peer Career Coach

Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn

By Jason Zhou
Jason Zhou Peer Career Coach