You’ve probably already heard a million and one times that even as a new college grad, you need to have a presence on LinkedIn. Upload a professional photo, fill out your bio (insert college office job here) and then BAM you just sit back and watch the job notifications roll into your email…with little to no hope of securing any of the ones you actually want.
In fact, you have just made it very clear that you’re brand new to the job market and substantially under qualified to a number of employers who can easily search you out. So what’s the point of using it and should you even bother?
The answer to that question is YES you should bother.
LinkedIn is the top professional networking site and it currently has 133 million users. And just because you don’t consider yourself a professional (yet) doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start your search there. Yes, you may be inexperienced and yes you may not have a lot of amazing things to add to your profile, but you can still leverage LinkedIn to at least expand your professional network and connections.
Here’s How To Take Full Advantage Of LinkedIn As A Recent Grad
Maybe you’re not in the best job situation right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep things current. In fact, LinkedIn members with a profile picture are 14 times more likely to receive page views. So, just adding a picture can help you attract some positive attention. Also make sure to keep your skills updated and make notes on your career objectives. If employers see that you’re not only active on LinkedIn, but also that there’s a spark of promise, you might get a job without the experience you think you need.
Keep Your Headline Updated
Your headline, photo and name are the first things you see. So make sure you keep them updated to stand out from the competition. Also be honest in your headline. If you want to be a video editor a catchy authentic headline like “Recently Graduated Want-To-Be Video Editor” might catch more eyes than you’d expect. Blow away your employer with an amazing reel and you might have the job.
Build Your Network
Make those 1st degree connections through Gmail or Facebook to increase your exposure and get access to more connections. You know that saying it’s not what you know, but who you know… that definitely has some merit.
Don’t just wait for companies to find you, figure out who you want to work for and start pursing them. Employers like to see that someone genuinely has put some effort into pursuing their career. Using the advanced search functions can allow you to easily find the companies you’re interested in and the people connected to them. Make the connections you can. Also follow the company. Following them will allow you to keep up to date with company news and know what’s going on.
If you’re in the job market you want to let people know. Consider putting it in your headline. For instance, “Video Editor Ready To Make You Go Viral” might catch the eye someone looking for a freelance editor.
If you’ve been making some connections, take the initiate to start reaching out and asking current connections for an introductions to people they’re connected with. You might not always get those introductions, but it can’t hurt. This can be especially helpful if you can ask people like former college professors in your field. The chances they’ll be connected to someone that might land you a job in your field? Pretty high.
At its core LinkedIn is still a social platform, and like any social media platform, the most successful people on it are very active. So start being active. Post articles you write, videos, and so on. Be authentic and stay up to date. Also make sure to get involved with groups and interact with others who are actively posting. Speaking of professional groups…. Do some advanced searches to find groups in your area and start getting involved. There’s nothing like face-to-face networking, so if you have opportunities to do that-do it!