Without classes, projects and homework, summer can be the perfect time to “take a course” on LinkedIn. With over 300 million users worldwide, the ability to access information and make connections in the world’s largest professional network keeps getting stronger and stronger.

Did you know that LinkedIn has videos and tutorials created just for college students? You can learn how to build a great profile, how to use LinkedIn for networking and how to tailor your profile to match your goals. There are videos on building your personal brand, turning relationships into opportunities, researching companies and preparing for interviews. http://university.linkedin.com/linkedin-for-students.html

Make an effort to set aside a few hours each week and make a list of topics to cover – even if graduation is still years away. Put “class time” on your calendar and stick to your schedule. Remember, corporate recruiters will be starting the hiring process early in the fall semester. Use some of your spare time this summer to make sure that you will be ready for them.

Joyce Donahue is a career coach in the Engineering Career Center.  She is a nationally certified career counselor and holds “Master Career Counselor” membership status in the National Career Development Association.