LinkedIn, the professional networking website, has launched a push to recruit career-minded youngsters by lowering its minimum age requirements – targeting users as young as 13 as it seeks to expand its reach.
From next month, 14 year old Americans will be able to sign on to the website, which has become a favourite hunting ground for employers and professional recruiters. In the UK, the age requirement will drop even further, to 13.
The website is relaxing its age requirements as it launches a new feature called University Pages that allows students to connect with colleges and alumni, introducing them to professional networking long before they enter the workforce.
Around 200 leading institutions from the US and other countries, including the France-based business school Insead and Brazil’s Fundação Getúlio Vargas, have already set-up pages on the website that allow prospective students to, among other things, browse alumni profiles to see the kinds of career paths that might lie in store for them.
“We believe University Pages will be especially valuable for students making their first, big decision about where to attend college,” Christina Allen, LinkedIn’s director of product management, said in a blog post announcing the new features. “We will be making LinkedIn available to high school students who can use LinkedIn to explore schools worldwide, greatly expand their understanding of the careers available, and get a head start on building a network of family and friends to help guide them at every milestone.”
Along with the US, the minimum age requirement will drop to 14 in Canada, Germany, Spain, Australia and South Korea. Barring China, where the requirement will be 18 years, and the Netherlands, where the website will not accept users under 16, the requirement will drop to 13 years in all other countries.