How to use LinkedIn effectively as a student or recent graduate
What is LinkedIn?
It is known as the business world's largest professional network on the internet. It shares similar attributes to Facebook and Twitter, however its main focuses are around connecting and developing professional relationships, building your personal brand, and finding jobs and internships. LinkedIn also allows users to learn skills that could be needed to succeed in your career.
Once you have created a LinkedIn profile, you are presented with the opportunity to connect with employers, companies, and friends. This allows you to display your unique professional story by listing your experience, education, and skills. Much like your CV, but with the freedom to be broader and not having to compact all the information onto a singular page. In addition, there is the option to link your CV to your LinkedIn profile, which heightens the chances of employers finding out more about you and we’d advise adding a link to your LinkedIn profile to your CV when sending that out too.
How to use it professionally and effectively:
We have devised a list of advice on how to make the most out of your Linked In profile, which will hopefully make you stand out amongst the crowd!
Be active on LinkedIn – We are all guilty of spending too much time on our phones, so make sure LinkedIn becomes one of your habitual priorities when scrolling through your mobile phone. This will ensure that you are active on LinkedIn, so you don’t miss out on new job opportunities. Furthermore, a constant presence on LinkedIn will show you have interests in particular sectors, alongside being able to seek advice and guidance from other user’s posts. Equally, by commenting on company's and people’s posts, it will boost your profile. The owner of the post will be notified when you do, and it is another straightforward way to become noticed and receive follow requests. However, remember not to go overboard... you do not want to come across too keen to a potential employer!
Make the right connections – It is important to send ‘connection’ requests to Mentors, Authors, Moderators and Key people. For example, if you are on the market for a new job and are actively looking for a certain job or company, then search ‘Hiring XYZ,’ and filter ‘People’ and Current Company to ‘XYZ.’ This will display a variety of HR profiles on that company. Be sure to send them a connection request, so later, it is another platform to communicate with them. However, there is a limit for sending connection requests, so utilise their use every day/week, but ensure to only add people who will be relevant for your career
Make sure your profile is complete – Linked-In is like your own personal brand. Therefore, by having a fully complete and up-to-date profile is a major necessity, as it can highlight all your individual attributes and unique skills. This means if you undertake any new courses, or complete any certifications, be sure that you are adding them on to your profile. But again, make sure you keep it relevant to your career!
Use Hashtags – If you are updating a career change, or producing your own post on Linked In, ensure you use appropriate hashtags. This can boost your audience engagement and can help your posts reach a wider audience. It is also key to follow useful tags relevant to you (for example #career, or #marketing), to attract the most suitable profiles.
Keep it professional - Always be professional on LinkedIn. Ensure you use professional language when commenting and creating posts. Remember to never like/comment on unnecessary posts which are beyond LinkedIn’s regulations. Your profile can be seen by most people, and of course, future employee’s. So ALWAYS be kind, polite and professional!
In summary, LinkedIn is a powerful tool to help bolster your career and make useful connections, so make use of it wisely. If you found this article useful, check out more of our career advice here: Blogs | graduate-jobs.com