“What’s the point in creating a LinkedIn account before you find a job?” This is a thought many graduates have once they’ve finished university and begin their job search. But having an account is a great advantage to widen your job search, showcase your professionalism and communicate with those in your chosen sector of work.
Choose an appropriate picture
First and foremost choose a profile picture that reflects you as a professional and not you on a night out! Selfies are also a big NO NO. Choose a simple headshot, rather than a full-length picture, if you don’t have one – get someone to take a picture of you!
Use your LinkedIn summary
This is your chance to state what you’re currently up to, what type of role you’re seeking and also skills and experience you have to do so. Any potential employers or recruiters viewing your profile will read this to gain a better understanding of who you are, if you’re currently employed and what your chosen industry of interest is.
Don’t be afraid to create a LinkedIn profile if you have limited work experience. Just be honest that you have recently graduated but you are eager to kickstart your career and are seeking graduate/entry level positions.
Your next step is to think about any relevant experience you may have and include it within your profile! Whether this was a placement year, internship or work experience it is all essential in building your profile! State the company, the dates and a few key responsibilities you had. To give other users a general overview of your career history. If you have no relevant experience, just state your last job role and use your LinkedIn summary to express the industry you wish to enter.
What’s the point in creating an account if you don’t connect with other users? Build your profile by connecting with classmates, past lecturers, co-workers and previous employers. You can also choose to connect with those in positions that you wish to also pursue. View their profiles and read their work experience to determine what experience and skills you’ll need to land a similar role. It is also worth your while connecting with recruiters, specialising in your job area of interest. Your profile can give them an indication of the type of role you are seeking and they may even have an opportunity for you!
LinkedIn groups are a great way to interact and join in discussions from influencers within the industry. Some LinkedIn groups also include job alerts – (including ours – Graduate Digital Jobs)! A handy tool to notify you with job updates, based on your region, job level and job role.
Search for jobs
There are hundreds of jobs on LinkedIn! With opportunities from different organisations and recruitment agencies. LinkedIn can even send you daily ‘job recommendations’ based on your profile. If your profile is up to date and states the role you are interested in and your location, you will be more likely to be ‘found’ by recruiters or hiring managers, who can approach you directly with a potential new role.
What are you passionate about? Have you undertaken any voluntary work? If so you can include this at the end of yourLinkedIn profile – just like you would on your CV. It gives your page a bit of personality and shows other users what you’re interested in. It’s also a good opportunity to showcase your interest in your chosen career sector, by following company pages and joining different groups.
It’s important that once you’ve created your page you use it! It doesn’t have to be every hour of every day! But regular weekly checks, will help keep you informed and up to date. Interact with those who you follow and if you’re currently searching for work make it apparent! Share articles and blogs relevant to your career choice, to really demonstrate your interest in the area.
Although LinkedIn is a social network for professionals and what you choose to post could affect your job chances. It is important to remember that not all employers will go off your profile alone. But what they are likely to do is read your profile as an additional CV, to back up what you have already said in your original job application.