If you’ve just finished your studies, it’s likely that you’re out there looking for your first (or next) great career opportunity.
With over 347 million users worldwide (and 6 million+ in Australia), LinkedIn is one of the most popular and valuable tools on the market that can help you find employment.
1. Completing Your Profile
Your LinkedIn profile is essentially the digital resume of today. It’s the one thing that recruiters and employers will peruse when searching to fill a vacancy, and it’s essential if you want them to notice you.
- Create an engaging headline for yourself. Your headline is featured below your name. It should be concise, specific and give readers an idea of what you are interested in. For example, “Marketing Graduate, specialising in content strategy. Interested in social media marketing.”
- Ensure you write a summary that provides an overview of your key strengths, your achievements, and also the fields or areas you are keen to work in. Think about what types of organisations or employers you are trying to reach and demonstrate what makes you stand out from others.
- Complete your work experience and include details of any position you’ve held in the past. Be sure to focus on transferable skills or the skills that are most relevant to your field or desired job. Focus on your achievements and results where possible.
- Fill in your educational background and skill set. Including your achievements while studying can be beneficial here. Make sure your skill set is detailed and that it is relevant to your desired career path.
- Include a photo with your profile and make sure it portrays you in a professional way. Remember, your photo is part of your brand. Research shows that recruiters form an impression of you, based on your photo, in one tenth of a second.
2. Using Keywords
Keywords are words or phrases that recruiters and employers use to search for potential candidates. For example, if they’re looking to fill a childcare role, they will likely search for “childcare worker.” Ergo, “childcare worker” is a keyword.
The point here is that keywords can help you get noticed when employers and recruiters conduct searches.
- Use keywords that relate to the specific job or position you are interested in obtaining. This will aid you in getting noticed, particularly in search results.
- You can use these keywords in your summary, your headline and in your work experience section.
- Make sure your keywords are used naturally. That is, in sentences and phrases that make sense.
- Yes: “Childcare worker with experience caring for…”
- No: “Childcare worker. Looking for work as childcare worker. Childcare worker specialist.”
3. Connecting With Others
LinkedIn is also a networking tool, so make sure you connect with as many relevant professionals as possible. This will build your network and can also help you get noticed.
- You can easily “Add Connections” (via the top navigation bar in black) by allowing LinkedIn to access your email accounts or address books.
- Need more connections? Try connecting with teachers and students who you knew or met throughout your studies, as well as any colleagues you may have worked with in the past.
- You can also try getting in touch with and developing relationships with professionals in your industry who may be able to help you find employment. Joining groups is a good way to start making connections.
- You can also follow companies and organisations; in particular, make sure you follow those you are interested in working for.
4. Producing Fresh Content
Fresh content and frequent updates are also great ways to get noticed on LinkedIn. These show up in your connections’ news feeds and remind recruiters and employers of your activities and talents.
- Publish professional articles and other content that relate to your field. You can also share content you like with others. Make sure you comment on content that your connections have posted too!
- Update the projects you are working on on a regular basis. This is an excellent way to showcase your abilities. You can also add media and contacts to each project you create.
- Share regular updates about activities and events you are (or plan to be) involved in (e.g. workshops, conferences, career fairs). Updates on LinkedIn work much the same way as on Facebook and Twitter. Just remember to keep it professional!
5. Being Contactable
There’s no point in being on LinkedIn if potential employers and recruiters can’t get in touch with you! Be contactable by:
- Including a phone number and/or email at the bottom of your profile. You can also list your professional website here as well, if you have one.
- Checking your InMail (LinkedIn’s internal message system) regularly and responding to queries.
As a graduate, LinkedIn can be instrumental in helping you kick-start your career and get noticed by others in your industry. Create your profile ASAP!