Graduation season is in full swing, and tons of bright young things are ready to make their mark on the world (congrats Class of ’16!). Whether you’re hunting for a cool internship for after graduation or trying to land your first job among the fierce recent-grad competition, there are tons of things you can do to ensure you have the best possible shot of scoring a great gig. But in this tech-centered age, it’s smart to focus your biggest effort online. To get some solid advice specifically for recent grads, we talked with Catherine Fisher, a LinkedIn Career Expert. Scroll on for her top three tips on getting the most out of LinkedIn, which will help you get a super successful jumpstart on your online job search.
1. Use the LinkedIn Students App. Catherine clued us in on one of LinkedIn’s helpful new tools, the LinkedIn Students App. This app uses insights from LinkedIn’s database of over 433 million professionals to help soon-to-be and recent grads uncover jobs that are the best fit for them. The smart technology takes your major, courses of study, companies that often hire from your school and the career paths of recent alumni with similar degrees into consideration to serve up opportunities straight to your smartphone. This is a GREAT place to start, especially if you aren’t quite sure what your dream job looks like.
2. Showcasing your skills is more important than your experience. It’s no secret that a killer LinkedIn profile is a great way to kick off your job search. In fact, Catherine says, “Students and recent college graduates are LinkedIn’s fastest-growing demographic. There are over 40 million students and recent college grads on LinkedIn, and the number continues to grow!” Sounds like you’ll be in good company, grad.
So while your LinkedIn profile is a platform for you to share past experience like part-time work, a summer job or internship, it’s actually more important to use the space to showcase the SKILLS you learned along the way. Fill out your profile entirely to highlight your passion projects, volunteer gigs and studies. And consider every experience in terms of the skills you gained, not just what your job title happened to be.
To help spark some ideas, Catherine asks, “Did you help grow a company’s social channels, lead a team in a capstone project or write an engaging blog post about your alternative spring break trip?” Include these accomplishments on your profile, and complement them by uploading relevant documents, media snippets and other content you’re most proud of.
3. Network as much as possible. Catherine says it’s true that so much of finding a job — especially your first job out of school — is about who you know. That said, LinkedIn is a very useful platform for connecting with colleagues, professors, past employers and alumni for advice, references and recommendations. Tap into those connections as much as you can. Remember, the worst that can happen is that someone says no.
Additionally, Linkedin is officially the best place to be discovered by recruiters and hiring managers. An incredible 94 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to recruit, and 92 percent have hired via LinkedIn. Whoa. Once you’ve edited your profile to a point where you feel confident that it captures who you are and what you do well, paste the link into your cover letter, on your resume and anywhere else you need professional cred.
Are you a recent grad? What was your major and what type of job are you searching for? Share your story with us on Twitter @BritandCo!
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