Top 10 Reasons College Grads Should Rock Their LinkedIn Profile
So you just graduated, I know the feeling! Having just graduated this May, I get it. The last thing you are looking for is another “homework” assignment, but hear me out.
It is August. That means it has been approximately three months since graduation. Everyone around us is talking about school starting again, buying supplies and complaining about summer ending. We can’t even walk into Target without being bombarded with school. But come September, you won’t be going back. So what will you being doing?
No matter how employed you are (you’re making money doing something you know how to do, you’re making money doing something you can fake knowing how to do, or you’re becoming an expert on daytime television like so many of the recent grads), you should take some time to rock your LinkedIn profile. Here’s why:
1. It is a professional Facebook! After years in college, we have all become networking junkies. LinkedIn is a professional networking site that will help grow your professional contacts/connections. Don’t lose touch with all those professors you impressed and colleagues you have worked with, stay connected.
2. You just graduated. Get recommendations! LinkedIn allows you to ask for quick recommendations from any connection you have. Your professors, employers, organizations leaders, coaches, etc. know you best. Ask them to write a recommendation for you while you are still fresh in their memory. Using LinkedIn is quicker than asking for a formal recommendation letter.
3. LinkedIn helps you define your skills and experiences. Sure you have a degree in something, but what does that mean? What exactly can you do with it? Let people know. LinkedIn helps you identify and differentiate yourself through your skills and experiences.
4. Figure out how to get where you want to be. We all have some dream job, an ending destination but have no clue how to get there. You want to be the CEO of a Fortune 500, to own a pet store, or build your own company from the ground up. Use LinkedIn to figure out what career paths others have taken. Think of it as a GPS system for you career.
5. Make use of your friend’s connections. We all have that friend that is always in the right place at the right time, who knows the right people to make things happen. Take advantage of that. LinkedIn shows you how you are connected to people you want to know (i.e. potential employers). You can ask friends to connect you with others. It’s a way to get your foot in the door with that new employer.
6. Get Employed.LinkedIn is your online resume. Not only do companies post job opportunities on LinkedIn, but LinkedIn will provide daily notifications of recommended jobs for you. Not to mention, 78.3% of hiring companies used LinkedIn to find potential candidates or to post openings. They are finding you! What else can you ask for?
7. Apply with the click of a button. Fill out your profile once, apply to hundreds of jobs. We all know just how long applications take. Many businesses now have an “apply with LinkedIn profile” button that pre-fills many, if not all, of the categories on the application. Instead of spending hours retyping your name, education details, recent work experiences- click a button to do it for you. More applications give you a better chance at finding something.
8. Get a behind the scenes look at the company. You can do research into a company you are applying for using LinkedIn. Even better, you can contact somebody who works there currently and ask them for all the details. Arm yourself with knowledge, every interviewer loves hearing you already know all about their company.
9. Show off what you know. You just paid how much money to get a college degree, put that knowledge to good use! Discussion boards and LinkedIn Groups give you a chance to make new connections and to demonstrate your knowledge. Not to mention showing potential employers or colleagues your willingness and able to contribute to an adult conversation.
10. You know more people than you think you know. Just because you have never met someone doesn’t mean you can’t connect with them. Alumni from your school love to help recent grads get on their feet. They have been there before and came out on top. Connect with them and ask them for advice, you will be surprised where it might take you.
Now get to it! Tonight at 2 a.m. when you should be sleeping but are up pondering what you are going to do with your life, log on and get LinkedIn.
It will pay off. Promise.
Head over to LinkedIn now.