It’s no secret that these are challenging economic times for everyone but particularly so for recent college graduates. Where does one start when looking for a job, graduate role or internship?
LinkedIn doesn’t do the work for you, but it makes it possible to make connections and leverage those connections to make contact with potential employers.
It is important at this stage to point out that LinkedIn is NOT a typical social network like Facebook or Twitter. One does not post status updates or personal pictures.
With over 60 million professionals and with more than 200,000 organisations in more than 150 industries online, if you are not one of the 2.1 million students already on LinkedIn, you are missing out. To read more about what LinkedIn is about, click here!
8 Tips for Graduates creating a Professional LinkedIn Profile
1. Fill out your profile to the 100% completion mark.
- Use a professional looking photo of you alone
- Headline should include your area of study
- Keyword rich summary including your future career ambitions
- Include all experience including part time work, internships, relevant extracurricular work e.g. college societies, volunteer/charity work and so on.
2. Claim your custom URL
3. Join relevant groups and connect with members of the groups which you interact with.
4. Request recommendations from college professors, lecturers, employers and so on.
5. Keep your profile up-to-date. It’s no longer enough to have a good CV; graduates need a solid professional online presence.
6. Connections: At the beginning you may think you don’t know anyone at all but start by connecting with people you know in the “real world” then eventually you will begin to connect with people whom you don’t know but for mutual benefit. For instance begin by connecting with your parents, relatives, neighbours, classmates, fellow students and fellow students in your course, friends, former employers and any other connections you may have through extra-curricular activities.
7. Include your mobile number on your profile but remember your phone number should include a professional voicemail message for times when you cannot answer.
8. Add LinkedIn to Your Email Signature – your personal emails should include a signature such as:
B.Bus in Information Systems
University of Ireland, 2012
If you are currently a graduate, or will be one in the future, be sure to have your LinkedIn profile up to date. Build a professional online presence and connect in a meaningful way. Research companies in your chosen industry and explore career opportunities with those companies – many organisations no longer recruit using traditional methods and only use LinkedIn.
Remember to always act professionally. When inviting someone to connect, it is advisable to add a personal message explaining briefly why you would like to connect, and of course always sign off with “Kind Regards” or similar.
Don’t worry about getting your profile completed 100% the first time you start. While it is as important (some would argue more important) than having an up to date CV, try to complete your profile quickly but perhaps not in one sitting!
LinkedIn is full of opportunities, with time you will be using LinkedIn with confidence. Best of luck on your LinkedIn journey wherever it may take you!
For more information, tips and tutorials to help you create your LinkedIn profile, check out Help.LinkedIn.com