BernieBorges.com Blog: Social Media and Web Marketing
6 Ways College Grads Can Use LinkedIn to Find a Job
It’s college graduation season and thousands of college grads are preparing to hit the job market. While recent economic reports show more jobs are available, the reality is that the competition for jobs among recent college grads is fierce. LinkedIn offers college grads many ways to standout in the quest to find a job.
Build Your LinkedIn Profile
Your LinkedIn profile is the starting point. A college student should start building their profile as a freshman so by the time senior year rolls around your profile is robust with more than 100 connections and recommendations from people you’ve worked with either in part time jobs, internships or volunteer positions. Use keywords in your headline such as “event management” as shown below in Celina Ingargiola’s profile. Notice the customized descriptions of the two websites associated with Celina’s profile and recommendations from people with whom Celina has worked during her college years.
Join Professional Groups
Anyone that actively networks in LinkedIn knows the value of Groups. But, joining a group is like joining a gym. To get value, you have to be an active participant in group discussions. When you actively participate in groups you can get noticed and build your network. Amanda Borges is a senior at Florida State University with aspirations to be a sports journalist. Notice the groups in which Amanda is active.
Add Skills to Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn offers a Skills area for your profile. Access the Skills section in the edit mode of your profile and search for skills that match your experience. LinkedIn also allows you to indicate your proficiency and experience level in each skill area.
During your college career, follow companies that may be prospective employers. In fact, I recommend expanding your list of companies beyond prospective employers to include companies in your field of study in college. By following these companies, you increase your opportunities to make connections with people who work for these companies, or follow these companies. And, those connections can lead to something very valuable such as a job interview. Below are recent additions to Amanda’s list of companies she follows.
Display Work, Intern and Volunteer Experience
During your college years, gain relevant experience through part time jobs, internships or volunteer positions. Display each of these positions with clear descriptions of each. Be sure to provide specific details of your responsbilities and accomplishments at each position. Below is a list of Amanda’s experience during her first three years at college.
Use LinkedIn Actively
Earlier I used the “gym” analogy in the context of using Groups. That analogy is best used in the context of using LinkedIn in general. Even with a busy college schedule, using LinkedIn frequently is a must in order to standout in a competitive job market. Your activity in LinkedIn is displayed on your profile. See below an excerpt that illustrates how active Celina is in LinkedIn.
These six suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg for college grads to use LinkedIn to improve their chances of finding a job. A college grad needs every possible edge in today’s competitive job market. Employers are looking for talented college grads on LinkedIn that display relevant experience with recommendations from people that have experienced working with you. Your LinkedIn network can be extremely valuable in landing your first job as a college grad. Use LinkedIn frequently and wisely to improve your chances. If you’re a college student or recent college grad, I hope these suggestions are helpful to you and your college friends.
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