Social media has become a necessity for connecting with people nowadays. As per Data Reportal, 3.96 billion people-- which is a staggering 51 per cent of the world's total population-- are on at least one social media platform. And this massive number of people use social media platforms mainly for two general reasons-- connecting with family, friends, familiar ones and building professional networks.
LinkedIn is the largest networking platform for professionals around the world. With 706 million registered users in 150 countries, it is the best platform to build a network with professionals from various fields. In other social media platforms, individuals usually build their profile with personal life events and day to day conversations. However, a LinkedIn profile of a person can be considered a modern CV of that person. This allows people to quickly understand where someone is from a professional standpoint. There are also various courses available on LinkedIn Premium that can help a person develop soft skills.
LinkedIn allows its users to connect with professionals from selective industries, companies, and specialisations, which enables people to build their network at their will. Job seekers too can connect to the recruiters here. These jobs are not confined to full-time only. There are part-time jobs for content writers, internship opportunities for students, and many other such opportunities. The best part is, LinkedIn is free for all to use. While there are premium plans available as well, they are within the affordable range of those who need them. All these features have turned this professional network into a learning and potential career building platform for the youth.
"It is a platform of huge significance for youths of Bangladesh, in terms of professional networking and job prospecting," said a final year BBA student at the Institute of Business Administration, Dhaka University (DU.) His words echoed the fact popularity of this platform is on the rise in Bangladesh rapidly. While job seekers can check others' profiles and learn to develop, young entrepreneurs can connect with B2B customers and clients as this platform is more trustworthy compared to other social media, in terms of business. Even students conducting research and surveys for academic papers can connect to officials in particular companies and industries as a whole.
"In today's connected age, there are substantial benefits to reap from LinkedIn. Not only can the youth get to know about job openings, but they can get connected with industry leaders and entrepreneurs also," said Mohammed Shahriar Sharif, digital product manager at Banglalink.
He also suggested young individuals having an up-to-date CV on their LinkedIn profile. By being connected with the corporate community the youth can stay updated on the local corporate scene. At the same time following various job vacancies can give them a sense of the required competencies. "Having an updated LinkedIn profile can also reap multiple benefits. Headhunters may reach out to candidates with a well updated LinkedIn profile. Moreover, some recruiters may review the profile of candidates before interviews and a proper account will help make a good first impression," added Shahriar. However, he also advised not to spend too much time on LinkedIn as a flashy and polished profile is never a substitute for real skills.
Spending time on social media is a norm today. And in this changing world, LinkedIn seems like a strong candidate, deserving some of the time spent on social media by the youth. As with any other social media platform, it is easy to sign up on LinkedIn and get started. And unlike other social media platforms, one might even score a job interview through the platform.
The writer is a freshman at IBA, Dhaka University. He can be reached at [email protected]