As graduation approaches at the end of each semester, the anxiety of finding employment rises in college graduates everywhere. One way to ease some of that stress is to become a part of LinkedIn.

According to its website, LinkedIn is the largest professional network on the Internet. It is among the masses of social media websites currently available for people seeking employment, as well as companies looking to hire new employees.

Kyra Sutton, assistant professor of human resources at Auburn University, recently joined LinkedIn to see what all it could offer her.

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“It didn’t make any sense for me to talk about it in class and not be a part of it,” says Sutton.
Most of the speakers that Sutton brings in to talk to her classes have profiles on LinkedIn, along with more than 90 million other business professionals around the world. According to its website, executive members of all 2010 Fortune 500 companies were members of LinkedIn as of January 2011.

The idea behind LinkedIn fashions posting an online resume to find a job. The savvy technology behind it is what yields more results for its users, including applicants and employers.

As an applicant, a profile is created consisting of your resume and background. As a company, a profile is created as a ‘LinkedIn Company Page’ with varying degrees of information about each company.

“There’s some kind of algorithm that pulls together your previous experience and your current job, and it populates a list of jobs that you would be interested in […] without you having to do anything,” explains Sutton.

With a background in human resources, Sutton says she sees job postings for human resource positions that she might find interesting or appealing if she were looking for a job. This automatic pairing of interests is what makes LinkedIn useful and easy to navigate for graduating college students with specific interests entering the job market.

Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn offers users a tool that helps them find friends, acquaintances or interest groups. They call this feature ‘connections.’ These connections can be made by a user first-person, or another user may ‘introduce’ two users they see as being potentially beneficial to one another.

LinkedIn users can also join groups of similar interests, backgrounds, employers and more.

“I get weekly e-mails that keep me up to date on what’s happening in my groups,” says Sutton.

Companies can use these groups to reach out to specific audiences and connect with potential employees.

The benefits of LinkedIn are large in number for college graduates and companies worldwide. As membership increases at a rate of one member per second of every day, the reasons for not joining decrease.

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