LinkedIn – The Best Guide for Graduates

Written by Kimberley Startup | April 11, 2014 | 0 Comments
graduates1Many congratulations, you’ve graduated. Now is the time when all that work in University is to pay off and give you the opportunity to build the career you’ve always wanted. So what’s the next piece in the jigsaw of career aspirations?
If you want to get ahead, get recognised and position yourself as the model employee you will be, hop on the LinkedIn train.
LinkedIn is a giant in the crazy world of social networking, as the world’s largest professional networking site. It is a business that is the driving force in its market. Offering a unique route in the variety of networks within the social network demographic and it is the place to focus on building your professional profile.
We all enjoy the luxuries of nights out, things you like, retweets and pictures shared. This isn’t what LinkedIn helps to promote for its users, it is more about a focus on the individual’s professional ability, key attributes, the connections acquired. It also acts as your very own mentor in developing and building of business relations and to help you fulfil your career aspirations and wants.

Here are 10 quick tips to follow to ensure your LinkedIn profile stands out, and you improve your chances of landing your ideal job:

1) Stand out from the crowd and represent what you want to do using an eye-catching headline. Keywords are vital in order to make sure you are identified so that the employers scouting for talented individuals like yourself can find you.
2) The image you display should appear professional. Use a headshot and ensure it’s not too social or ‘gimmicky’ – what you find smart or funny might not be seen in the same light by a prospective employer. Check out: How to make your online profile pictures professional article, for advice.
3) Define your personality/skill set in short and precise language Outline why you want to be noticed, and use this to write a few lines about your qualities and your potential
4) Discover groups you could join and follow companies that interest you. Use these avenues to stay in touch with the latest job openings and industry news. In order to get yourself known amongst the communities, voice your opinion in discussion threads.  LinkedIn is all about opportunities but you must always be proactive when it comes to finding and acting on the opportunities available.
5) Ensure your academic history as well as any experience is clearly highlighted. It is also recommended to incorporate this with relevant key terms and specific skills you have gained. This is important so that you appear in searches by recruiters and hiring managers.  If a past employer is also on LinkedIn, ask for a recommendation.
6) Remember, it’s not what you know it’s who you know. Take care over your connections. This isn’t a free for all and you could do more harm than good by connecting to the wrong people. Remember that picking the right connections will show how serious you are about your profession.
7) When making first contact, personalising your message is essential in making that connection a success. Outline why you would like to make the connection and the value of your experience as a person in your field of interest.
8) Connect with hiring managers or recruiters who have advertised a position on LinkedIn. It shows interest in the vacancy and gives you the opportunity to do some background research on the people who will be interviewing you.
9) Ensure your LinkedIn profile stands out and looks the part (for all the right reasons) as this will create a good first impression between you and the employer.
10) Engage, get involved and keep your profile updated at all times.
Don’t expect an instant success in your quest to find your first graduate job, as like most things; time is of the essence and nothing will happen overnight. However, if your profile is created/written in the correct manner, the opportunities and rewards are there and will set you on the pathway to career success.
Happy Hunting and Good Luck.

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