Graduates – Enhance Your LinkedIn Usage and Get the Job You Want
Did you know that a recent survey has shown that less than 40% of graduates would utilise online recruiting resources to find employment?
This means that over 60% of graduates are not using sites such as LinkedIn to find work after they have graduated.
However, with thousands of jobs available and marketing themselves as “the Professional Network” LinkedIn is the most prominent site with which to find that vital post-graduation job.
Setting up a LinkedIn profile is an excellent way for graduates to create an online professional identity, which, many times is the first thing an employer will see of you. It is also amongst one of the first results to appear when your name is Googled and with many employers researching social media profiles as a matter of course, it pays to possess a LinkedIn profile.
As a Graduate, being an active LinkedIn member displays an awareness of the professional online communities of which you are hoping to become a part of and can be seen as advantageous in the eyes of potential employers.
Using my profile as an example, here is a checklist of actions to ensure your profile is the best it can be:
The Basics: First, fill in all the fields for the information box at the top. It is the first thing anyone will see of your profile so it is vital that is it completed. You must ensure that your educational history is present as well as any work experience, part-time work or weekend jobs you may have had.
Please note, my picture is of my head and shoulders, wearing smart attire and smiling, all of these things are important to create a good impression of you:
Education: As a Graduate, this is the part where you can really show off. Not only can you put in your entire educational history, you can add teams, clubs and societies, showing that you can do more than just turn up, you are engaged and tuned in.
Skills & Expertise: This is your chance to point out all your skills and abilities at a glance. This is one of the key areas to fill in as it gives an overview of your capabilities. Work through your skill set and select tangible elements which can be summed up in 1 or 2 words, try to choose at least 10 so you give the appearance of a decent set of skills.
Recommendations: This is your next category to fill in; however for this section you will need audience participation. Ask your lecturer to write you a reference and those on your course. If necessary you can write the basics of the recommendation and send it to the person that you’d like to post it.
Once you have filled in all the fields and followed the prompts to “improve your profile” you will have achieved your goal of a 100% completed profile.
Groups: Joining industry specific groups will not only show that you are engaged and interested in your chosen field, it will also show that you are willing to get involved outside of working hours, proving your commitment and dedication.
Search for groups which are relevant to the subject you have studied and the area you are seeking to work in. LinkedIn has a huge range of groups to join and, once a group member; you can take part in discussions and forums as well as being exposed to blogs and other useful materials which will keep you up-to-date with the happenings and movements within your field.
Your activity can also be shown upon your profile page, so the more there is, the more engaged you will come across to prospective employers.
Etiquette: Online etiquette is vital to making connections and contacts through online platforms. Rudeness will not be tolerated and site and group administrators will remove you for bad language or abuse. Never forget LinkedIn is a professional network and so you must act in this fashion at all times.
There are 3 main rules to abide by:
1. Don’t use auto-generated templates – be original, send personalised messages to get connections and try to avoid using the templates provided.
2. Don’t use LinkedIn like every other social platform, only post useful, informative or interesting headlines and keep a consistent picture so that you can be recognised.
3. Do not ask connections that you don’t know personally or professionally for recommendations, it is considered rude and is actually against the user agreement, the same can be said for making connections.
If you would like to find out more information on graduate jobs or how to leverage your LinkedIn profile check out the webrecruit blogs, or if you are interested in applying for any graduate roles, follow this link.