LinkedIn is one of the few social media networks that is not dominated by teenagers, or used mostly for conversation and picture-sharing. Instead, it's mostly used by professionals who wish to place an online CV in a place where access to the contact details of the person are restricted to a degree. This may seem like a good idea for a postgrad, but it's worth thinking through further. Don't forget that you may simply be advertising your inexperience, which may act as a reminder to your future employer. Plus, remember that in order to keep your options open for your career, you are going to have to apply for a range of jobs, and some recruiters will find your LinkedIn profile and decide you are not suitable because of it.
With that warning out of the way, LinkedIn is not all bad for students; after all, it does place students side-by-side with other students looking for jobs. Here are two pros to Linkedin and two cons when it comes to the Linkedin being used by postgraduates.
Pro - You can start creating an online reputation early The Internet is a big part of our near future - which means a student will benefit from a positive online reputation. This will give a more solid reputation foundation for later in a career. Simply being a name or face people may have encountered before can give you an edge, even if they don't remember where from.
Con - You restrict yourself to a certain career or principle If you are certain you want to use your qualification to be just one thing then that is fine, but if you were hoping to keep your options open, then having a Linkedin profile may not help you. Ideally, you want to send out tailored CVs to the jobs you want, but you cannot over/under emphasize points on tailored CVs only to contradict yourself on LinkedIn. In addition, if you're more interested in small start-ups , they're less likely to be looking for you on there - prefering a more personal touch.
Pro - It does count as due diligence with some HR departments A HR department is supposed to check references and such, and there is often a checklist system where they have to show they did at least 2 or 3 things to check the identity and verisimilitude of a candidate. With some companies, checking social media profiles is a valid method for checking on a new candidate.
Con - Your Internet privacy is yet again opened up People post all their likes and details on Facebook and then wonder why people know their mother's maiden name, first street they grew up on, first school, etc. Similar privacy concerns revolve around Linkedin as it acts as an online CV, meaning people can find your first job, current job, first school, etc, all of which are often secret question answers online. Of course, there are limitations - such as having to be logged in to see this information, but it's still one to be aware of.