In the digital age, social media is impacting various aspects of our lives — including the job search.
With LinkedIn — a rapidly growing social media site that allows users to connect and network with colleagues, classmates, and friends — employers can learn about us with the click of a link.
Our professional lives are adapting to the Internet. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you’re using social media to your greatest advantage, especially if you’re a college senior exploring post-graduation opportunities.
If you’re a college student on LinkedIn, you’re in good company: More than 30 million students and recent graduates have LinkedIn pages, and more than 200,000 college students join each month, according to the LinkedIn website.
If you’re looking for the way to get the most out of your profile, start here:
1. Fill out your profile completely.
It’s important to fill out everything on your LinkedIn profile, making sure each section is complete. Don’t just list your past job experience; write what you achieved at each job, just like you would on your resume.
If you have any school or work-related projects you’ve completed in the past few years, post those to the “Projects” section of your LinkedIn profile. Share any awards you’ve received, any extracurricular activities you’re involved in, and community service projects you volunteer at.
List at least five of your skills, and ask employers and professors for recommendations. Filling out your profile can help illustrate your credentials to employers who use the site.
2. Make sure your content is LinkedIn appropriate.
Don’t post a profile photo where you’re standing with your friends at a party. Instead, choose a professional headshot with no other people in the background. In general, remember that LinkedIn is meant for professionals; it’s not a platform to post updates about your nighttime adventures or to write witty comments on your friends’ pages.
3. Connect with everyone you know — from colleagues to friends.
Expand your network as much as possible; you never know who one of your connections might know. It’s as easy as the click of a button. You can also search those in your important email lists to see if any of your contacts have LinkedIn profiles. Having a lot of connections also helps you see how others in your field accomplished what they did, from where they started to where they ended up.
4. Use LinkedIn to communicate with employers and search for jobs.
You can search for jobs on LinkedIn and let employers find you based on your credentials (another reason to completely fill out your profile). LinkedIn will also recommend jobs for you based on your education and experience. And, you can reach out to employers or connections on the site to network.
Your headline, which appears right under your name, should reveal where you are academically or in your career, for example, “English major” or “Data Analyst.” And/or highlight your career aspirations, for example “Seeking employment in public relations.”
The summary should discuss your strengths and skills and what you hope to accomplish next in your career.
Take the time to comment on some articles posted on LinkedIn about your industry. Show you’re interested and engaged in your career path.
Double check your profile for typos and errors.
What Every College Student Should Post on LinkedIn. (2013, August 12). Retrieved August 28, 2014, from Mashable
Friedman, J. (2013, January 18). Job Networking Through Social Media: The Advantages of LinkedIn for College Students. Retrieved August 28, 2014, from Huffington Post
LinkedIn Profile Checklist. (n.d.). Retrieved August 28, 2014, from LinkedIn
Salpeter, M. (2011, May 11). Why College Students Should Join LinkedIn. Retrieved August 28, 2014, from U.S. News
The Value of LinkedIn for College Students and Recent Grads. (2014, March 25). Retrieved August 28, 2014, from LinkedIn