There’s no denying that times have changed in the world of recruitment. Sure you can search for jobs and apply online, but when up against 100 other newly graduated candidates how can you stand out to the employer? With hundreds of online job boards it is near impossible for you to find every vacancy suitable to you, but what if there was a way to draw the jobs to you? The good news is there is! Social recruiting is an extremely popular way for recruiters to target passive candidates, and LinkedIn is the most business focused of all platforms. Read our LinkedIn tips to land your graduate job!
Get your profile right
So if you haven’t already got a profile you will need to set one up, and if you have one already then make sure you read our checklist to make sure you get the most out of your profile:
- Add a Profile picture – The key things to check are that the picture is of you alone, it is clear and not pixelated (no lo-res images), it is cropped to your head and shoulders, your smiling and it’s relatively professional (definitely no cocktails in hand!). Some people say that you should either be face on or with your head tilted to the left (so you are facing your profile), but as long as you meet the other requirements it should be fine!
- Add a Headline – Your headline should ideally include your job title and current employer but if you have just graduated list your course title with achieved grade and list your skills or professional traits! E.g. John Smith – Computer Science (BSc) 2:1 (PHP / ASP.Net / MySQL).
- Customise your profile – You can edit your URL so it is relevant to yourself (e.g. mine is https://www.linkedin.com/in/sophieheaton). You can also change your background to a picture that represents yourself, so pick an image (make sure it’s available for reuse) that communicates your industry / brand message.
- Summarise your talents – The summary section at the top of your page is your chance to highlight your key skills that are relevant to the job you want to get. Keep it brief but to the point to make sure people don’t tail off while reading it.
- List your employment and education history – Make sure you list your employment / education history including company name (if possible link through the company’s LinkedIn company page) / school name and dates you were there. Gaps in your experience raise questions so list everything even if you feel it isn’t relevant to the job you want to get. In each role include 4-5 bullet points on your key tasks / achievements but focus on what is relevant to the job role you are seeking. E.G – If you are applying for a marketing role focus on tasks centred around this.
- Add skills – Choose around 5-10 skills that are relevant to the job you want (e.g. Social Media / Copywriting / Advertising etc.) and add these to your profile. That way connections can endorse you and it creates further belief that you are capable of these.
- Add examples – This may not be relevant to everyone, but in some industries it is beneficial to add links / presentations / examples of work to your profile. For example if you are looking to get a job as a graphic designer provide a link to an online portfolio or examples of campaigns you have worked on.
How to step it up
OK so now you have finished your profile it is time to step it up and accelerate your LinkedIn activity! Below are some tips to help you amp up your activity whilst flying under the radar when you want to:
- Turn off activity broadcasts – If you are already employed and looking for new opportunities you may not want your current employer to see your recent connections or what companies you have recently followed etc. so make sure you turn off your activity broadcasts when doing this. You can do this from your profile page by clicking on your profile icon in the corner, going to privacy and settings.
- Join relevant groups – Groups are a fantastic way to align yourself with professionals in your industry. Not only will people post jobs in here but you can share content / interesting posts to help you stand out amongst them. Search for groups by your industry / skills and start joining!
- Get connecting – OK so you may not accept friend requests from strangers on Facebook but LinkedIn is a different ballgame. Imagine you are at a networking event; you won’t gain anything from it by drinking quietly in the corner with your best mate! You need to mingle! Search for people by job role / skills and start connecting!
- Publish posts / share content – Publishing posts is a great way for creative candidates to show their talents so if you have something to say get publishing! Not your cup of tea? Share interesting articles related to your field with your connections! Try and do this 1-2 times a week to keep your profile active!
- Get recommended – LinkedIn allows you to ask for recommendations and these are a fantastic thing to showcase on your profile. At the end of the day you could lie through your back teeth on that profile (which won’t get you anywhere in the long run before you start changing it!), so you need to have some testimonials from respected people in the industry.
- Stay anonymous – If you are approached by a company for an interview chances are you will take a look at their company page and current employees. You want to see the information but you don’t want to come off as a stalker (they will get a notification to say you have viewed it!). Go to your profile settings and change ‘Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile’ to anonymous. Problem solved!
- Keep it professional – There are some people out there (you know who you are) who are using LinkedIn as if it’s Facebook. Don’t share pointless pictures or maths problems on there! It is a fast track to losing connections (and respect!).
Sophie Heaton (Digital Campaign Manager)