I recently came across a quote about the social networking site LinkedIn ´If you’re not on LinkedIn chances are not many people know of you and who you are and what you are capable of´ but what use is having a LinkedIn account to a school kid or university student? LinkedIn seem to think there is a lot of use, if their most recent changes are anything to go by!
LinkedIn says that more than 30 million of its 225 million members are students and recent graduates and they are now trying to delve into the young person labour force even further by recently lowering its minimum age for members, starting as young as 13 years old in some countries, such as the UK!
With the inclusion of 13 year olds, in what is meant to be a professional networking site, many believe LinkedIn risks turning into a Facebook type social networking site and may lose its credibility. However, the site sees itself as becoming a resource for young people to find internships and mentors. Maybe creating a separate site would have been more appropriate.
LinkedIn is becoming the dominant global forum for businesses of all kinds, 88 of the Fortune 100 have licensed the software to help find and track potential job candidates, many of which offer fantastic young professional and graduate jobs. It almost seems a crime to be job hunting in your late teens/early twenties without a LinkedIn account! In the eyes of many employers, having a LinkedIn account shows ambition, intelligence and the desire to succeed on a successful and professional career path.
Speaking as a young professional in my early 20´s I can safely say that long gone are the days of people my age thinking LinkedIn is just for corporate middle aged people like our parents, I´m even shocked when some of my peers (especially those who have recently graduated and are looking for jobs) don´t have an account!
Whilst I don´t really understand what need a 13 year old would have for a LinkedIn account, I think this has opened up a fantastic opportunity for students and young professionals. LinkedIn is such a powerful recruitment tool for millions of people all over the world, why should the generation that has been raised on social media not benefit as well!