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Can LinkedIn Help You in the Job Search Process?

EACE Blog contribution by Debbie Leung, New York Institute of Technology

You know you should be doing some more work on cultivating and managing your career, but where do you find the time? Approximately  30 million college students out of 225 users are actively using LinkedIn to find internships, entry-level and full-time opportunities post-graduation (Adams, 2013). 

Completed Profiles – 100%

According to 2013 Forbes article, employers view college students who have a complete LinkedIn profile as progressive in comparison to their peers who do not have a LinkedIn presence.  In fact students whose profile is 100% complete are 40 times more likely to be contacted on LinkedIn for jobs (Ku, 2014). In fact, a brand new feature of LinkedIn called CheckIn brings you even closer to employers at your university or college’s job fair because it allows recruiters and hiring managers to access your on-line resume instantaneously.  Even if you can’t make it to your college/university’s job fair, after you’ve completed your profile, you should optimize it by creating a customized URL link.  Doing so will allow employers to locate you much faster since your name will show up first in a Google search.

Tips for an Impressive LinkedIn Profile

-Your profile should not be static; it should clearly show employers the progress that you’ve made throughout your college career

-List all campus organizations you’re involved with, any honors and awards, relevant coursework and test scores

-Showcase your uniqueness as an individual including the things you are passionate about as well as your interests outside of school/work.

-Proofread for all spelling and grammatical errors; 54% of participants of a Jobvite survey reported that this did count against candidates in hiring decisions (Friedman, 2013)

-Use keyword searches that closely resemble the words you’ll see in job descriptions or frequently used words that are specific to the field.  Include these in your summary, experience, skills and expertise sections (Ku, 2014).

-Ask for and give at least 3 or more recommendations; each one should highlight a particular skillset (US News, 2011)

Virtual Networking Tool

Using LinkedIn as a networking tool is a definite must.   It’s an easy way to stay in touch with supervisors who may have switched jobs.  You can easily contact them for recommendations and informational interviews with people that they may know (Salpeter, 2011).  You should connect with at least 100 key people including your professors, supervisors and alumni from your school, reports a UK based paper, the Guardian (Burch, 2013).  Similar to your supervisors, alumni from your school can help you build your network by recommending others that may be in the same field or position.  Lastly, whether you need to connect with additional people to build your network or just get your name out there, join professional groups and contribute to the on-line dialogue.  You’ll be contributing to your field, setting yourself apart from your peers, even before you are actually in it.

Creating a LinkedIn profile can be challenging and time-consuming but the benefits are worth it since it puts you one step closer to landing your dream job.  If you found this article helpful or have any questions or comments, send me an e-mail at debbieleung11@gmail.com.

References

Adams, S.  (2013)  Eight Reasons High School Students Should Be on LinkedIn.  Forbes.  Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2013/05/14/eight-reasons-high-school-students-should-be-on-linkedin/

Burch, K. (2013) Students:  How to Use LinkedIn at Uni to Help You Get a Job When You Graduate.  The Guardian.  Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/education/mortarboard/2013/dec/30/linkedin-tips-for-students-employability

Freidman, J.  (2013)  Job Networking Through Social Media:  The Advantages of LinkedIn for College Students.  Huffington Post.  Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jordan-friedman/college-students-linkedin_b_2506542.html

Ku, Dean.  (2014) How Students Can use LinkedIn to Land a Job.  USA Today.  Retrieved from http://college.usatoday.com/2014/05/19/how-students-can-optimize-linkedin-to-land-a-job/

Salpeter, M. (2011) Why College Students Should Join LinkedIn.  U.S. News & World Report.  Retrieved from http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2011/05/11/why-college-students-should-join-linkedin

 

Debbie Leung

Debbie Leung

Debbie Leung currently provides support to the office of career services of New York Institute of Technology.  Her goal is to become a career adviser within higher education.  She is excited to be a part of the field and have become an active member of the Eastern Association of Colleges & Employers as well as the Northeast Association of Student Employment Administrators.   Debbie believes that her listening skills, helping nature and thorough knowledge of career advising theories and practices will help her to successfully transition into career advising.  She intends to obtain a master’s in human resources to gain the perspective of an employer and is almost finished with the National Career Development Association’s Career Development Facilitator certification course.

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