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LinkedIn's New Student App: It is a beginning

LinkedIn's New Student App: It is a beginning

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Ken Yeung's description of LI's newest app designed to help College Students get their first job was a real eye-opener. I wasn't expecting much but was floored by several features- in particular, the ability to connect a student's major to specific jobs former students in the same school are currently occupying in a given company. Coupling this feature with the names of employees who are alumni at the app user's school and you have the makings of a seriously practical career coaching tool.

Of  course, my next move was to attempt to download the app as a graduating senior with a ubiquitous psyche degree and give it a whirl in mystery shopping mode. I failed initially for obvious the reason- Linkedin recognizes me on my devices despite my nom de plume as Geraldo Crispino. I won't be satisfied that the quality of this app's capability is up to the standard in my head until I try it out myself. Soon.

What is important about this move is it arms students with the rationale for understanding the type and frequency of job/career paths that are linked to what they studied and where. Even more important is the connection a student can/should make ( they probably haven't) with alumni who have gone before them. they can be coached to connect and learn how they succeeded in competing for the job they have and, even more critical, ask them to be their employee referral for similar openings.

What LI must realize (but is not yet in an app form) is that all these features become more important as a person's career progresses. Any job seeker who can connect an 'affinity' - school, previous employers, professional association membership, certifications, military service etc. to profile and link to the career progression of employees at targeted companies changes the game. It's how career coaches make a living.

When this app is widely available beyond the student population, the number of employee referrals initiated by candidates will skyrocket and the importance of differentiating the quality of a referral will be paramount.

While it is still a student-focused tool, employers should consider ways to leverage it with their ambassador programs.

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