Every month we show how British universities are harnessing the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in various weird and wonderful ways. But how should and do they make use of the world’s largest professional networking site, LinkedIn?
As students approach graduation and attend strings of career networking events, “set up a LinkedIn account if you haven’t already” is rudimentary advice they are bound to hear. Most likely, this was actually first iterated to them whilst still at secondary school. On Manchester University’s careers service website, LinkedIn has even been given a specific webpage explaining what it is for and how to set it up.
Alumni networks function on the site, Cardiff boast having over 10,000 members for instance. And seeing as LinkedIn profiles feature the university or college a student studied at as one of their key pieces of information on a profile, it is one of the most vital places where alumni will forever more be flying the flag for your university.
LinkedIn does not, however, just serve the individual student. It is a source for universities to attract even prospective students as well as, naturally, using its prime purpose, to recruit its own staff.
The site launched ‘University Pages’ in 2013 specifically to work with higher education. Charles Hardy, Education Engagement Lead at LinkedIn, told Red Brick Research the site has 380 million student members and that almost every university uses it.
LinkedIn holds ‘big data’ and university pages can easily draw up information on the largest employers of their alumni body, along with which sectors they work in or where they are based. Take this example depicting the careers of students and alumni of The University of Nottingham, with PwC and the NHS as the top two employers. This is equally useful information for recruiters and employers as to where to target.
Setting up active LinkedIn pages to share your university’s news, successes, openings and so on, as well as encouraging active alumni pages, will only help your students flourish in the professional world.