For some people, the number of friends or followers they have on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc… is a reflection of how popular and/or successful they are. If that’s you, that’s fine, just don’t extend this thinking to your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is about quality connections not quantity. It is not an opportunity to try and connect with everyone you have ever crossed paths with in your working life.
If you are a recent graduate and haven’t set up your LinkedIn profile, just have a look at our post on the 8 Things You Need to do to Create The Perfect LinkedIn Profile. Don’t worry, we guide you through each step. Once that’s done, you need to focus on building your network and making sure your LinkedIn profile is set up in such as way that it makes it easy for recruiters to find you.
Beyond the Basic LinkedIn Tips For Graduates
- 1. Create Good Contacts
When you first create a LinkedIn profile it is tempting to connect with everyone you know in order to establish some kind of presence. Try not to do this, you need to establish a useful network. LinkedIn needs to remain professional so don’t connect with friends just for the sake of it, let Facebook do that for you.
Professional contacts only
Import your address book using the function called ‘import contacts’ and connect with those that are relevant
Only send a connect request if the person actually has a reason to accept it.
- 2. Establish Credible Circles
As with contacts, you need to be careful not to follow any company on the planet just to keep your job opportunities wide open.
Follow companies you are genuinely interested in working for
Join industry and professional bodies and where appropriate take part in discussions
Set up filters so you receive news about your industry. You should also do this in Google News, we cover off how to do this in our post – 4 Interesting Ways Google Can Help Your Job Search
Share and comment appropriately
- 3. Ask for Recommendations/Endorsements
Recruiters pay attention to recommendations on LinkedIn. They are immediate, highly visible and the recruiter doesn’t need to contact anyone else to get them. You should aim to have between 10-15 recommendations over time. You can ask current or past employers, clients, customers etc…If you find this a little uncomfortable, consider the following tips:
Write a recommendation for someone else, once you do this you will be surprised how many people will reciprocate
Ask for an endorsement after you have done something positive for someone else
Send people a few bullet points of suggested comments they could make, sometimes making it quick and easy gets a result
- 4. Actively Network
Actively networking on LinkedIn is important. It comes partly through your connections and circles but you also need to remember a few extra factors.
Don’t send generic, impersonal connection requests, take the time to personalise each one. You are much more likely to get a positive response this way
Be selfless, comment on friends status updates, write recommendations and forward on job listings to people who may be interested. All this will earn you similar behaviour in return
Make sure you network online and offline. See our post – 8 Surefire Networking Strategies For Job Seekers
- 5. Keep Evolving
Remember, much like your resume, your LinkedIn Profile is an evolving document. Make sure you revisit it regularly, updated your skills, history and qualifications as necessary and keep developing your contacts and circles.
LinkedIn can be a very effective job search tool for recent graduates. Remember to keep your social and professional profiles separate and invest the time in getting your LinkedIn profile to work hard for you.
See Also Related Post: How to Write an Elevator Pitch for Networking Events
See Also Related Post: How to Promote Yourself on LinkedIn
See Also Related Post: 6 Best LinkedIn Job Search Tips