Learn how teens can use LinkedIn to build a positive reputation and get a leg up when preparing for college.

We talk a lot about what kids shouldn’t post online, but we don’t always call out the types of posts & platforms kids should be on.

Of course, parents want what’s best for their kids and who can blame them? There’s some crazy stuff online that isn’t appropriate for innocent eyes. But, there’s also a benefit to kids who use the right platforms for the right things.

When it comes to applying for college, it’s important for kids to stand out from the pack. Here are a couple ways kids can use LinkedIn to help them get a leg up on the competition. 

9 Tips for Teens Using LinkedIn


1. Join the Club

Your teen will need to have something to write about on their profile, so make sure they’re active in their school, church and community.


2. Set Up an Accurate Profile 

Be honest and direct – this isn’t about adding filler to make their profile longer, it’s better to be succinct rather than rambling. Encourage them not to lie or embellish because it could come back to haunt them.


3. Track Accomplishments 

Whenever they accomplish something, whether it’s a sports championship, academic achievement or community milestone, document it. Their profile will grow piece by piece over time. 


4. Share Interesting Articles

If they are interested in a particular field or hobby that could become a profession, encourage them to share articles to their connections on LinkedIn. It’s a good discovery activity for both of you to engage in together and will also help them nurture their interests. 


5. Research Connections

LinkedIn is meant to be a networking platform, so that means there will be some exposure to strangers. Researching potential connections is important for anyone using this site & you should review them with your child to make sure they’re beneficial to connect to.


6. Follow Brands & Topics

If your teen is interested in a specific profession, like fashion, encourage them to follow their favorite brands. Kids can also follow topics like Market Research, Macroeconomics or Biometrics. This is an easy way to see what conversations are important to those brands & their connections.

  

7. Spelling & Grammar Matter

This is not a platform for that is slang-appropriate. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Teens using this site should focus on writing clearly and professionally, since it reflects on their education, skills and maturity.

 

8. Only Add Quality Connections

LinkedIn is not like a typical social networking site. Teens might confuse their preoccupation with likes & followers for platforms like Instagram, where higher follower counts mean you’re almost “Instafamous”, as the norm for networking.

This would be a mistake.

Teens using LinkedIn should only connect with friends, family, teachers, co-workers and other high-value connections – not random users solely to build a higher connection count.

 

9. Self-Censorship is Good

Oversharing on LinkedIn is the last thing anyone should do, especially for kids trying to create a mature representation of themselves. Teens should be careful not to be too personal on their profiles or overly friendly with connections.

Remember, LinkedIn is all about putting your best foot forward, not recapping the weekend.

Learning how to hold back the everyday happenings, random thoughts & pictures with friends can even encourage discipline for other platforms, too!

 

Learn more about building an online reputation by reading The Cost of Bad Behavior on Social Media.

About Jennifer Leonard

Jennifer Leonard is the Social Media Manager for Zift. She is passionate about connecting with people – in person and via social media. She spends her days writing, tweeting, pinning and using as many hashtags she possibly can. #Goals 

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