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The LinkedIn Hack for High School Students Exploring Future Careers

high school studnets using LinkedIn for career exploration

In the age of digital connections, the path to your dream career may be just a click away. But how can you navigate the vast virtual landscape to find the right opportunities, mentors, and insights that fit your ambitions? Especially if you're a high school student exploring future possibilities, the road can seem confusing and intimidating. In this article, we'll unveil a powerful platform that's more than just a place for resumes and job postings. We'll guide you through creative ways to engage, explore, and even connect directly with professionals in the field you're interested in—all while maintaining your safety and integrity.  

How High School Students can Use LinkedIn as Part of Their Career Exploration Work

  1. Requesting Informational Zoom Calls: Reach out to professionals in the field and politely ask if they would be open to a short informational call. Make sure to explain your curiosity about their profession.

  2. Posting Questions in Groups: Engage in groups related to the career you're interested in. Post thoughtful questions that communicate your genuine curiosity as a teenager exploring future career paths.

  3. Connecting with University Students: Find college or university students studying in the field you're interested in, and ask them about their experiences, coursework, and internships. They were in your shoes not long ago!

  4. Following Relevant Companies: Follow companies that represent your career interest. Engage with their posts and look for any programs, internships, or opportunities that might be open to high school students.

  5. Participate in Discussions: Join in discussions within groups or on posts related to your career interests. Share your perspective and ask for advice on how to prepare for a future in that field.

  6. Ask for Written Insights: If a Zoom call feels intimidating, ask professionals if they'd be willing to answer a few written questions via email or LinkedIn messages. Compile a thoughtful list of questions that shows you've done some homework.

  7. Attend Virtual Events: Keep an eye out for webinars, virtual meet-ups, and online panels related to the career field. Engage during the Q&A sessions.

  8. Build and Showcase a Portfolio: If your career interest involves creative or technical skills, consider creating a portfolio on LinkedIn to showcase your projects. Seek feedback from professionals.

  9. Seek out Mentors: If you find a professional who seems particularly encouraging or insightful, ask if they'd be open to a mentorship relationship. Be clear about your goals and what you hope to learn.

  10. Share Your Journey: If you feel comfortable, share your exploration journey on LinkedIn, documenting what you learn and who you meet. Tagging and thanking those who help you could foster a supportive community.

A Magical Hack 

While direct connections with strangers may not be accessible through a free account, joining interest groups on LinkedIn opens up new possibilities. By participating in these groups, teenagers can directly message professionals, ask for advice, and even set up informational interviews.

Maybe you're curious about engineering, but you don't know any engineers to ask questions. Don't worry! Here's a trick that will let you connect with engineers (or any profession you're interested in) without breaking any rules.

  1. Find an Interest Group: Search for groups related to engineering (or the field you're interested in). Look for active groups with plenty of members.
  2. Join the Group: Often, joining is as simple as clicking a button. Some groups might require approval, but many are open to anyone interested.
  3. Engage with the Group: Read posts, comment, and generally get to know the community. It's not just about taking – contribute to the conversation!
  4. Directly Message Members: Here's the magic part! Once you're part of a group, you can directly message other members. This means you can reach out to professionals you admire and ask them questions about their careers.

Template Message

Hello [Group/Community Name],

I'm a high school student exploring potential careers in [Field/Industry]. I'm drawn to this field because of [specific interest or reason], and I've been doing some research to understand more about it.

I would be incredibly grateful if you could help me with the following questions:

1. [Question related to the field]
2. [Question about required skills or education]
3. [Question about daily life in the profession]

I appreciate any insights or advice you might have, and I thank you in advance for taking the time to read my post.

[Your First Name}

Example 1

Hello Engineering Enthusiasts Group,

I'm a high school student exploring potential careers in engineering. I'm drawn to this field because of my passion for problem-solving and building things, and I've been working on small projects at home to understand more about it.

I would be incredibly grateful if you could help me with the following questions:

1. What are the most rewarding aspects of being an engineer?
2. What types of degrees or certifications are typically required to become an engineer?
3. Can you describe a typical day in the life of an engineer?

I appreciate any insights or advice you might have, and I thank you in advance for taking the time to read my post.


Example 2

Hello Creative Writers Community,

 I'm a high school student exploring potential careers in creative writing. I've always loved storytelling and writing short stories, and I'm curious about turning this passion into a profession. I would be incredibly grateful if you could help me with the following questions:

 How do you find inspiration for your writing projects?

What educational path would you recommend for an aspiring creative writer?

 What opportunities are there for freelance writers, and how can I start building a portfolio?

I appreciate any insights or advice you might have, and I thank you in advance for taking the time to read my post.

Best, Michael 

Safety Warning for Teenagers on LinkedIn

While LinkedIn can be an incredible resource for career exploration, it's essential to approach it with caution and awareness. Remember, not everyone online has good intentions, and it's vital to recognize signs of inappropriate behavior and know how to respond.

1. Check in with Your Parents: Before reaching out to anyone on LinkedIn, discuss your plans with a parent or trusted adult. Keep them informed about who you're communicating with and what you're discussing.

2. Recognize Red Flags: If someone asks for personal information, addresses you in an overly familiar or inappropriate way, or suggests meeting in person without proper context, these are warning signs. Trust your instincts; if something feels off, it probably is.

3. Report and Block Suspicious Behavior: If you encounter someone who makes you uncomfortable, report them to LinkedIn and block them. Don't hesitate to share this with a parent or trusted adult, as well.

4. Never Share Personal Information: Keep your conversations focused on the career exploration. Do not share personal details like your home address, phone number, or other sensitive information.

5. Arrange Virtual Meetings with Care: If you plan to have a virtual meeting with someone, make sure a parent or trusted adult knows about it, and consider having them present during the call.

6. Stick to Public Groups and Professional Topics: Engage in public groups and keep your discussions focused on professional topics related to your career interests. Avoid private or off-topic conversations with strangers.

7. Remember, It's Okay to Say No: If at any point you feel uncomfortable or pressured, it's completely fine to end a conversation or decline an invitation. Your safety and well-being are most important.

LinkedIn can be a valuable tool in your career exploration, but it's essential to use it responsibly and with an awareness of potential risks. Always prioritize your safety and don't hesitate to seek guidance from a parent or trusted adult if you need support.

More Resources

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Careers That Matter provides online programs to teenagers across the globe. The organisation is based in Melbourne Australia. We have students from across Australia including Sydney, NSW 2000, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Perth, WA 6000, Adelaide, SA 5000, Hobart, TAS 7000, Canberra, ACT 2600, Darwin, NT 0800. We also take students from The United Kingdom including London, Europe, and the United States including New York , Canada, New Zealand including Auckkland and Wellington, and Asia including Singapore and Malaysia.