LinkedIn Students App Aims to Help College Grads Find Jobs

The all-new app, for iOS and Android users, can help college students home in on the careers and jobs that appeal to their interests and skills.

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LinkedIn has launched its first LinkedIn Students app that is custom-built to assist U.S.-based college students and new grads in finding interesting jobs that they are qualified for based on their degrees, their skills and their experience.

Available in versions for iOS and Android users, the LinkedIn Students app was created using insights from those gleaned from the site's 400 million business members who are posting their own resumes, job skills, experience and more. The app was announced in an April 18 post on the LinkedIn Blog.

The new student-focused app is very different compared with the existing LinkedIn job search apps that were unveiled back in 2014, Kenly Walker, manager of corporate communications for LinkedIn, told eWEEK. The previous job search mobile apps allow users to do quick job searches when they know the specific fields and categories of jobs they are looking for, said Walker, while the student app allows users to enter their school name, major and year of graduation to get custom suggestions of jobs that they might be qualified to apply for, she said.

"This new app is for students looking for their first job out of college," said Walker. "It's much more an exploratory app."

Searches conducted using the app (pictured) will show users the jobs that past grads from their schools with similar degrees ended up landing, as well as listing companies that hire students with degrees and education similar to theirs, said Walker. "It also shows roles that might appeal to users based on their majors and the information they provide."

For most college students nowadays, LinkedIn is finding that they graduate not knowing exactly what kind of work that they want to pursue when their schooling is finished, said Walker. "At the core of it, it's just a really daunting and overwhelming process because students don't know where to start and they don't know what's possible."

That's where the experiences of LinkedIn's more than 400 million members can help, she said. About 43 million students are now using LinkedIn, which is the company's fastest-growing demographic, she added.

LinkedIn had added an Education Hub Page to help students about two years ago, but the new app further refines and targets the needs of students compared with professionals who are already in the workforce, said Walker.

Previous research by LinkedIn found that recent grads have been using the site's tools to look at prospective jobs and professional fields based on reports from alumni of their colleges and universities, she said.

"When we talked to students we found that finding that first job after college is paramount to students," she said. "So as a company, we are doubling down on this."

The LinkedIn Students app is available for iOS and Android for now and is only for use by U.S.-based students. Later in the year, the company expects to begin pilots of the app for international users, said Walker.

The app was fine-tuned in pilot tests with about 100 students at San Jose State University in November 2015 and by about 200 students at the University of Central Florida in February. It is available for free use by anyone in the United States.

The new app was created because today's students will be tomorrow's professionals and will hopefully use LinkedIn for their own networking and future job search requirements, said Walker.

"Students are a priority audience for us," she said. "They're the next generation of users for LinkedIn. We want to make sure they are comfortable with LinkedIn and used to using LinkedIn in their everyday lives."

In the past, students have "looked at LinkedIn as a site for professionals, and as a college student they don't have a lot of professional experience to list," said Walker. "Students know that networking is really important, but they don't know how to do it. Now LinkedIn can give them the tools."