The school year for many college students may not have started, but there is no better time to think of graduation and job hunting. Back in the day, young grads could send out a legion of resumes to corporations around the country, confident that the fine-quality paper and title of baccalaureate was enough to clinch an offer letter.
Instagram and Snapchat have ensured that young people are online, chatting with their peers and sharing their life stories. But few of these millenials engage on the one online social site that could change their lives: LinkedIn.
Why is LinkedIn Important?
Business used to be about boardrooms and black-tie cocktail parties. But with the age of digital social networking, these conversations and introductions can happen online. Your friend’s uncle (whom you’ve known since kindergarten) may be just the person to introduce you to an internship opportunity. Or a colleague of a colleague may be leaving a position—that you would be perfect to fill.
News travels fast on LinkedIn. People share industry-standard articles. Relatives post about their professional lives and alumni from your college update their profiles often.
How to get started on LinkedIn?
First, get your resume online and use a great title or tagline for your profile. Instead of saying “student”, you should type in your area of study such as “Digital Marketing, student”. Keep it updated and write out your experiences. Don’t just bullet point your life. Show recruiters how you are special and how you’ve done great things.
- Join groups that relate to your field of interest.
- Follow companies that are the industry leaders within this field of interest
- Follow the individual decision makers within this field. You’re not going to spam anybody. Instead, you’ll comment on their articles and begin to engage in meaningful conversation. In an interview, if you can quote or refer to a recent article of the CEO of XYZ, that makes your application memorable.
- Get recommendations from your past jobs. Email links to your boss or supervisor and ask for a quick review of your work. The blurb becomes attached to your profile so recruiters can find you.
- Find your personal friends and build your network. Invite people to join your network. Tweet and post on Facebook that you’re on LinkedIn.
- Use the Jobs feature to research keywords to use in your resume and openings in your area