LinkedIn App Guide (2021): What Parents, Educators, & Students Need to Know

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LinkedIn App Guide (2021): What Parents, Educators, & Students Need to Know

March 24, 2021

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Navigating Linked In (For Parents & Students) VIP course preview video

What is LinkedIn.com?

Professionals of all ages understand the importance of having their resume online and the power of networking. LinkedIn is becoming a very important tool for students who want to improve the first page of their Google results when applying to colleges, internships, or jobs.

Having a LinkedIn account can help students:

  • Share their story, accomplishments, interests, and strengths
  • Learn about universities from around the world. Find the latest college news and discover fields of interest from existing students attending that school
  • Be found by college admission officers and future employers

Why should parents & educators care about LinkedIn?

  • A student’s Google results can have a major impact on college or job applications.  LinkedIn is very good at appearing on the top page of Google results and students have complete control of what is on their LinkedIn page that appears in the results
  • Students will often receive connection requests from strangers and spam messages in the Inbox that could be a distraction or temptation to check frequently
  • Any contact information students put in LinkedIn may be seen by any other LinkedIn user or visitor to their profile
  • Students may receive “phishing” emails trying to get them to reveal website log in or financial information

Login or join theSmartSocial.com membership to read more about the dangers and safety tips of LinkedIn.

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Green Zone

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Green Zone.
We believe this app is a STARTING POINT for your student, but that you must monitor your student on every app they are on. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

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Parents and Teachers: Please note this app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Gray Zone.
Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe.
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Red Zone

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Red Zone. We believe this app is not safe for students to use without adult supervision. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

Dangerous Social media challenges

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge. Knowing about social media challenges before your teen does can help you keep them safe before an incident occurs. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

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LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. It has more than 740 million members. The fastest-growing demographics on LinkedIn are students and recent college graduates. (Source: About LinkedIn)

Overview video for parents & educators

What is LinkedIn.com?

Professionals of all ages understand the importance of having their resume online and the power of networking. LinkedIn is becoming a very important tool for students who want to improve the first page of their Google results when applying to colleges, internships, or jobs.

Having a LinkedIn account can help students:

  • Share their story, accomplishments, interests, and strengths
  • Learn about universities from around the world. Find the latest college news and discover fields of interest from existing students attending that school
  • Be found by college admission officers and future employers

Where is LinkedIn available?

linkedin logo
  • Students must be 16 years or older to create a LinkedIn profile
  • App Store: 12+
  • Google Play: E (Everyone)
  • LinkedIn.com
  • Owned by Microsoft Corporation, Headquarters in California

Parent & educator training video

Why should parents & educators care about LinkedIn?

Screenshot of Josh Ochs' LinkedIn Profile
  • A student’s Google results can have a major impact on college or job applications.  LinkedIn is very good at appearing on the top page of Google results and students have complete control of what is on their LinkedIn page that appears in the results
  • Students will often receive connection requests from strangers and spam messages in the Inbox that could be a distraction or temptation to check frequently
  • Any contact information students put in LinkedIn may be seen by any other LinkedIn user or visitor to their profile
  • Students may receive “phishing” emails trying to get them to reveal website log in or financial information

What can parents & educators do?

  • First, work with your students to develop the brand they want to establish for their applications
  • As with all social media, talk with your students about appropriate strangers to interact with online and remind them that people may not be who they say they are online and to contact a trusted adult if they feel uncomfortable at anytime
  • As a family, talk about personal information that should never be shared on social media, such as, login information for any websites or bank information
  • Assure your student that the quality of achievements in their profile matter more than quantity and their online information must be truthful at all times
  • Decide how much time is appropriate for students to spend on all social media, including LinkedIn, and building their personal brand
  • Become a Very Informed Parent (VIP) to learn more about the dangers of social media and how to talk to your student about their overall online presence

LinkedIn in the news

NBC Today headline: Man with autism writes powerful cover letter, leads to 7 million views on LinkedIn
The 20-year-old's handwritten cover letter posted on LinkedIn has now been viewed nearly 7 million times... Today.com
The State Press headline: Students turn to LinkedIn for a virtual handshake
'Shifting to virtual networking has required a bit more work and attention on my behalf...Reaching out to someone on LinkedIn has never been easier.' Arizona State University's The State Press
The New York Times headline: new Item on the College Admission Checklist: LinkedIn Profile
'I did not make a LinkedIn profile for my friends,' said… a high school senior in Marietta, Ga. 'I made it to show people who don’t know who I am what I am about.' The New York Times

Parent & student training video

What we're covering in this video:

  • Why students should create and maintain a LinkedIn profile
  • What types of images to use for your headshot & header & how to write your headline
  • What experiences and accomplishments to include (with ideas for students)
  • How to maximize your search results
  • Tips to stay safe
  • How your activity continues to build your profile
  • Josh's "hack" to ask for recommendations
  • How to maximize connections and minimize distractions

How should students use LinkedIn?

Screenshot of Josh Ochs' LinkedIn profile
  • Create one account for yourself using a professional headshot that would help a school recruiter or hiring manager recognize you in person
  • About: Ask yourself, your parents, and your teachers “what am I good at and what do I want to be known for?” and build your profile to tell your story
  • Experience: Even if you don’t have a lot of work experience yet, use your volunteer projects or student club experiences as job experiences
  • Education: It’s ok to list only your high school degree.  Highlight any study of focus you had in your classes
  • Projects: Highlight your favorite class projects where you’ve applied your creativity and talents
  • Accomplishments: Did you make the honor roll or earn a merit-based scholarship? Add it to your LinkedIn profile
  • Organizations: Do you participate in on-campus or external organizations, play sports, or have an interesting hobby? Admission officers and hiring managers like to know that you are a good team player or leader of a group 
  • Recommendations: Think outside the box about who knows you. You must be connected to someone for them to leave a recommendation on your profile, which may not be possible with your high school teachers because of the school’s social media policies for staff and students. For instance, your peers, employers, volunteer supervisors, etc. could all provide brief recommendations that support your official application recommendations
  • Find your dream schools or organizations and follow their official accounts. Look for the national organizations for your local clubs and follow their accounts

More LinkedIn resources

Click here to view the course: Navigating College Readiness on Social Media Networks

Amy Veteran LinkedIn bootcamp video

Watch as Josh and an Army veteran review LinkedIn and the possibilities to add to his profile.

Conclusion

LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for taking control of the content about your student online. Just like all social media websites and apps, students must be cautious about the quality of their content and the connections they engage with. However, one great profile may not be able to “undo” poor online decisions on other social media platforms, but a positive footprint with LinkedIn can help build your student’s positive online reputation.

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