If you’re a recent college grad, or will be graduating in December like myself, searching for your first “real” job can be overwhelmingly terrifying.
However, LinkedIn is a powerful tool that can make the search less intimidating by allowing you to simply continue something you’re probably already doing: hanging out on social media.
The truth is students (myself included) spend a ridiculous amount of time connecting with peers on social platforms, snapping selfies and posting photos of their pets. But what students really should be doing is using this energy in a more productive way by building their professional network.
Below I’ll cover some tips on how you can use LinkedIn to help land your first job.
● Make Your Headline POP
Your headline is the first thing people will see when they visit your page. It’s essentially a 5-second elevator pitch for marketing yourself online. Be sure that your headline communicates what you want to accomplish.
Here’s my new and improved headline:
● Write a Professional Summary
The summary statement is your opportunity to introduce yourself and grab a potential employer’s attention. Focus on describing your skills and accomplishments; communicate your goals, while also highlighting your personality.
See this article for more essential tips on writing an impressive LinkedIn summary.
● Get Recommendations
Ask your professors, advisors or past employers to recommend you on LinkedIn. Recommendations show your credibility and experience; they can boost your online reputation and set you apart from other candidates.
● Use Keywords
Use keywords when you are describing your work. The more industry-related keywords you have in your profile, the higher you’ll appear on a potential employers search rankings.
● Be Active
Engagement is an important aspect of all social networks. LinkedIn provides the opportunity for you to discover and share interesting content with your connections. When reading articles posted by others, provide feedback and comment on content that interests you.
These are just a few examples of ways you can enhance your LinkedIn profile as a college grad. According to Jobvite’s 2013 Social Recruiting Survey results, 94 percent use LinkedIn to recruit for talent and 92 percent have successfully hired through LinkedIn. So make sure you are doing everything you can to get noticed!