Since it’s launch in 2002, LinkedIn has become the biggest social media hub for your business network. It’s a different ballgame than Facebook or Twitter because it rewards professionalism and direct connections more than other networks. If you’ve just graduated college, we highly recommend signing up for a LinkedIn account. Most companies use LinkedIn as part of their hiring strategy.
In this guide, we’ve shared some of the best LinkedIn tips for grads, so you can polish your profile and start getting job interviews.
Here’s some sage advice for recent grads: don’t use a humorous or dramatic photo for your LinkedIn page. Take a photo that represents your best self – smiling, well-dressed, and looking confidently into the camera. LinkedIn pages that have a profile picture receive fourteen times as many visitors. Save the brooding artist photos and goofy outtakes for other social media platforms.
This brief bio allows you to set yourself apart from the crowd. It serves as an introduction to your professional life, with some personality and charm thrown into the mix. Use the Summary section to create a compelling narrative about your goals, unique skills, and previous work experience.
Besides listing concrete job experience, you can pad your LinkedIn profile page with any noteworthy certifications, academic honors, or after-school volunteering. This is particularly important when you first graduate college, because prospective employers will see your potential. Meanwhile, you can list internships in the Experience section.
LinkedIn allows you to make a list of your valuable skills in the Featured Skills & Endorsements section. Then, your network can endorse them on an individual basis. For example, you might be talented at “Blogging”, “Social Media”, and “Public Relations”. To boost your own endorsements, just start endorsing your friends’ and colleagues’ pages, and eventually they’ll return the favor.
If you click on the Work button, you’ll find a Groups section, where you can connect and collaborate with people in your industry. For example, if you studied music in college, you’ll find groups on LinkedIn like “Music & Marketing” and “Music Industry Forum”. We recommend joining a few of the most relevant groups, and then becoming an active contributor to forum discussions.
Once you’ve built a respectable profile, it’s time to expand your circle of influence. Start connecting with former classmates, co-workers, friends, and family members as soon as possible. After establishing all your direct connections, it’s time to start adding people in your desired industry. Make sure to introduce yourself with a brief note, especially if the person is a friend of a friend. Over time, your LinkedIn network will begin to blossom.