About a month ago LinkedIn announced University Pages as a way to “help students at every critical milestone from campus to fulfilling, successful careers.” The bulk of the fanfare was around the students. The fun intro video walks students through how using LinkedIn can help them to see and plan a career path.
But what does this mean for schools? It is still early but we are starting to see some big possibilities for universities and colleges with the new pages. Previously schools could exist as a company on LinkedIn, but that wasn’t really a true representation of how schools fit into career paths. The University Pages expands the reach beyond school employees to allow people to connect as prospective students, students, alumni. This change has the potential to increase the relevance of LinkedIn for schools.
The new format puts schools in a position to build a strong, relevant relationship with alumni. This is a great situation because it can be mutually beneficial: By connecting and celebrating alumni schools also enhance their image and become more attractive to potential students. And alumni benefit from having an easy way to connect with classmates and others that share the experience of attending the same school.
But those connections are just the surface. By encouraging high school students to get started on LinkedIn as a way to plan their career they are moving to become even more central to professional social networking. In many circles the LinkedIn profile is already replacing the paper resume as the standard for communicating career experience and direction. Getting students on their platform even earlier helps to strengthen this position.
We already see LinkedIn as a great platform for professional networking and we are looking forward to helping our clients (and maybe you?) make the most of their presence on the platform.