LinkedIn gives college students the foot in the door they’ve been looking for

Concerned that your LinkedIn profile is bare? Have you only worked at fast food places, and is your only award the all-campus beer pong championship? LinkedIn feels your pain and has a new app just for you.

LinkedIn Student launched yesterday, and focuses on American college students who are just starting to build their resumes and starting their career searches. Information provided to students will be based on major, graduation date, and the students’ own activity and choices on the site, according to a report on VentureBeat.

After downloading the free app, students start their profiles and career searches by entering their colleges, majors, and expected graduation dates. After registering, students are shown recommended cards about careers related to their majors, as well as positions that employ similar skill sets. The crossover skill set data is gleaned from the profiles of regular LinkedIn influencers, a group of approximately 500 leading professional in various fields who are invited by LinkedIn to publish on the site.

Users navigate LinkedIn Student by swiping cards. Each choice is recorded and over time the program’s algorithms will shape the data presented. From the initial major-based career suggestion choices, the program can direct students to alumni from their schools in their fields of interest, as well as to current job postings on the regular LinkedIn site. There will also be articles written by influencers about their own job searches and career development. Five hundred such articles are already available.

After students work through the recommended cards, they can work on building their profiles by adding awards, current projects, and other information. One of the best ways students can use the new app is to discover alumni working in their own desired fields in locations they prefer, and with that information, start to build their own networks.

Except for alumni connections and university pages intended for career services departments, LinkedIn’s previous college-focused portal is being closed. LinkedIn Student is available in a mobile format only, for both iOS and Android phones. While international versions of LinkedIn Student are planned, the launch version is for U.S. college students only.

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