I am very thankful to LinkedIn, the overlooked social media site, for supplying my dream internship at a prestigious publishing house this past summer. It was an amazing opportunity that not only provided me with meaningful projects and responsibilities but also taught me invaluable lessons in just ten weeks!

Searching for an internship while studying abroad can be a difficult task. Many times, phone interviews occur at unconventional hours – mine especially seemed to take place around 10 or 11 pm. Who could really think properly after overloading on pasta? Then there’s the dreaded Skype interview which brings various issues with it; where do I look during the call, what portion of my body should fit in the frame, and most importantly, how am I supposed to react if my internet connection suddenly drops out and leaves me with a frozen face expression?

Uncovering a way to stand out among an endless stream of online applications for my desired internship, at the publishing house Hachette, was proving difficult. Fortunately, I stumbled upon LinkedIn’s alumni network which enabled me to do some “stalking”. After searching through profiles of employees from several companies on my list, I managed to find multiple contacts and leads!

After I sent a message to a few people, one of whom was my boss at the time, she quickly highlighted two aspects of what I had done. She praised me for demonstrating initiative and reminded me that instead of asking for employment directly, I asked her if she liked working at Hachette and if she had any guidance regarding the application process or the industry in general. It was very clear through the actions that I wanted to work with Hachette but didn’t make it an outright request when reaching out. When I reached out to people in my network, everyone was incredibly gracious. Not only did some refer me to other connections, one even passed along a glowing recommendation to human resources! After conversing more and exchanging messages back and forth, one person offered an interview – which led them to eventually extend the job offer!

You’re not going to make much progress in your job search if you don’t have the necessary qualifications and experience. And, of course, research is essential—you need to know why you want to work with a particular company before you even start applying. But what’s more important than that? Actually talking directly with someone who works there! Don’t just let all those hours spent pouring over applications and writing cover letters go down the drain when instead they could lead right into an enlightening chat about employment opportunities at their place of business. With a good resume and shared alma mater, there’s a high chance you’ll find someone who will happily offer assistance if they can.

We are all well aware of the importance of keeping our LinkedIn profile updated, and networking with those we meet through work. But many people (including me) aren’t using it to its fullest potential! To get noticed on this platform, ask for endorsements from coworkers you have worked with in the past, join groups that relate to your field or industry, and request recommendations from former employers that emphasize specific accomplishments. Use your detective skills by searching out users who may be helpful contacts – then reach out directly! Taking these steps will ensure you utilize LinkedIn’s amazing capabilities to their full extent.

Don’t simply give LinkedIn lip service in your job search; tap into its full capacity and make the most of it! Make sure you don’t miss out on any potential opportunities that can be had by utilizing this platform to its fullest.

Have you ever experienced a career opportunity through your LinkedIn connections? Tell us about it in the comments section!

For advice on how to leverage LinkedIn for success, look no further than Levo Mentor Erica Dhawan. Unlock her wisdom and learn the best approaches to using this powerful platform!

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