With LinkedIn all the rage when it comes to boosting your professional brand and landing the perfect job (or internship), it’s not just important, but almost necessary for new grads to understand what we’re getting ourselves into.
LinkedIn is nice enough to provide a handful of helpful tips and tools to help us along the way.
Step 1: Join LinkedIn. It may seem somewhat obvious, but the truth is LinkedIn is a great platform to use to help keep you in touch with the people you need to know. Networking may not guarantee that you get the job, but it definitely improves your chances dramatically.
Step 2: Build your brand. Yes, you are a brand. You must sell yourself to all those potential employers in hopes of one day striking gold and getting the job. To do this via LinkedIn make sure you do all you can do to make you look good.
In other words, make sure your photo is appropriate, you have recommendations and your profile is typo-free and complete.
Another tip they mention, Google yourself to make sure nothing negative shows up. I did (Google: Lauren Gillaspey). Luckily, my LinkedIn profile is the first to pop up, followed immediately by this here blog. They mention in the video that 70% of employers respond to a negative web presence by moving on to the next candidate. They also mention 8% of employers are influenced positively by a good web presence.
Step 3: Use LinkedIn to find out where you want to be and to help get you there.
Step 4: A recruiter once told me that you must have at least 50 network connections to achieve anything via LinkedIn.
According to LinkedIn, to gain connections start by adding friends and family. Then move to colleagues, alumni, and employers.
Step 5: Use LinkedIn to find out who’s who and who you need to know within organizations. It’s also a valuable resource for finding jobs and for turning relationships into opportunities.
Step 6: Last, but not least. Nail the interview. A must-do for any interview is researching the company. LinkedIn can be used as a tool to help give you an idea of the current employees, as well as the basics of the company and their competition.
In addition to the videos, you can access a wide variety of hints and tips from the Learning Center. While you’re at it, give the Career Explorer a shot. The program gives you an opportunity to follow the career path you may be headed down. It helps you out with providing salary ranges and experience required for the next step. It even goes a couple of steps further by showing you job posts, potential networking contacts, demographics for the job and a geographic density map.
Although, I have yet to personally see a LinkedIn success story, I have my fingers crossed. I may not be there yet, but I have found LinkedIn to be a valuable research tool throughout my job/internship hunt.