On June 7th, 2017, LinkedIn.com changed its user agreement, increasing the minimum age for opening a LinkedIn account from 14 to 16. “Existing members who happen to be under 16,” LinkedIn says, “will be allowed to remain members and use our services.”
This minimum age change means a change in strategy for families who follow me.
1. If your child is age 14 or 15 and already has a LinkedIn.com account, no worries. Keep on using the clear, step-by-step LinkedIn strategies you’re learning about in my book.
2. If your child is age 14 or 15 and doesn’t yet have a LinkedIn.com account, simply keep track of his or her activities and connections on paper.
A spiral notebook will work, as long as you keep that notebook in a safe place and put a reminder in your own calendar to update it frequently.
3. Once your child turns 16 (or as soon as possible after that) help him or her to open an account on LinkedIn.com.
I explain exactly why and how to do this on pages 53-55 of my book LAUNCH: How to Get Your Kids Through College Debt-Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward.
Remember, your child needs one place to keep track of all of his or her accomplishments, achievements, work experiences, school and scouting awards, scholarship awards, job shadowing experiences, and volunteer and service hours and experiences.
Your child will also benefit greatly by connecting to working professionals he becomes acquainted with as a teen. LinkedIn is a spectacular place to do that, now starting at age 16.
Here are three more things to be aware of when it comes to LinkedIn:
LinkedIn goes to great lengths to make itself safe for students.
Anytime a new LinkedIn user indicates that he or she attends high school, that person’s account automatically has higher security settings. For example, if a high school student submits a complaint to LinkedIn, it gets bumped to the front of the queue and is handled by a special team. In addition, student profiles cannot be viewed by third-party tools.
If your child has little to put on LinkedIn at age 16, that’s OK.
It’s OK if your child’s job title simply reads, “Quinn Ackerman, 11th Grade Student John Marshall High School.” It’s OK if he or she has very little work experience to enter. The content will grow and increase, as you sit down with your child regularly throughout high school and college to check the profile over and help him or her add new details and keep it updated.
Be aware: your child age 16-24 is not likely to get on LinkedIn without your direct help.
I wish I didn’t have to say this, but parental involvement is absolutely necessary if a student age 16-24 is to create and regularly maintain a detailed LinkedIn.com profile. Because of the progression of adolescent brain development, even the most high-achieving student under the age of 25 is not likely to feel compelled to either create this profile or keep it updated — unless a parent leads the way by 1) setting aside the time, 2) sitting the student down, 3) completing the login process, and 4) scrolling through and asking questions about what might be added.
There’s no part of parenting more important than setting your kid up for successful college and career life.
For clear, step-by-step help getting your kids through college debt-free and into jobs they love afterward, don’t rely on a loose collection of blog posts. You’ll miss hundreds of details that way. Instead, get your copy of my book:
You can “Look Inside” the book on Amazon for free by going to:
(Tell your friends.)
You can see the “Top 9 Questions Parents Are Asking Me About LAUNCH,” here.
Read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 1-3 months while your child’s in middle school and high school, and you’ll know every viable strategy for debt-free college and career at exactly the right time to implement it.
And if your child’s already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting your kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it – especially if you’re not planning to save up any money to pay for college.
Do you have friends who are parenting kids ages 14 – 24?
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What about you?
How is your teen using LinkedIn to greatest advantage? Comment below or LIKE Jeannie Burlowski Author on Facebook, find this post on that page, and let’s talk about it there.
Who is Jeannie Burlowski?
Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, author, speaker, and podcast host. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free and move directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, NerdWallet, and US News and World Report.