Use LinkedIn Like a Pro: Hot Tips for Students and Recent Graduates

Anyone who has ever at least thought about getting a job for sure must have heard about LinkedIn. This is one of the world’s most popular social media with a steadily increasing number of active users. Unlike other communication digital platforms, LinkedIn has a focus on career professionals and the business world. When it comes to students and recent graduates, one of the most common misperceptions is that this platform is suitable only for practitioners with substantial hands-on experience in their professional sphere. However, the truth is that anyone can make the maximum use of LinkedIn regardless of their professional background and previous work experience. In this article we will take a close look at the most helpful tips on using LinkedIn for those who are only making their first steps in career advancement. 

1. Make a Good Impression from Start

As they say, well begun is half done – and it’s more than true in case of a newbie creating their first professional page on LinkedIn. Rule Number One reads: your LinkedIn profile must always look businesslike and impeccable. No matter how much you like experimenting, the best option is a minimalist page designed and filled with information in a highly professional way.  The first impression your potential employer gets about your profile is crucial, because it would be an impression about you in the first place. Though it may sound like a difficult goal to achieve, there are some things that can help you out. For instance, with a LinkedIn banner maker you can either customize your existing banner or create a totally new one that will not go unnoticed. 

2. Photo Matters

You can decide against adding a photo of you to your LinkedIn profile, but our advice is that you do.  First of all, that blank spot on your page doesn’t add to your credibility. Secondly, many hiring managers share an opinion that profiles with a photo is their first preference for a number of reasons. Thus, make sure your LinkedIn profile includes an appropriate high-quality photo of you dressed professionally. Don’t forget that photos from last Saturday’s pool party should be saved for Instagram or Facebook, if you feel like sharing them.

3. Sections Are to Be Filled In

A big team of top-drawer specialists have been developing LinkedIn together with all its features. Thus, every section available on LinkedIn is there for a good reason. Make sure you fill in every section, including Profile Headline and Summary. These parts are often overlooked or display meaningless buzzwords like “proactive” or “problem-solving”, which is a big mistake. Turn them to your advantage by adding a description of you highlighting all your strong points and accomplishments. This may take time, but it’s absolutely worth it.

4. Don’t Leave Anything Behind

Understandably, professional experience is perhaps the most challenging part for students and fresh grads. Yet, there is nothing to be afraid of – every expert was a beginner once. The right way to approach this issue is to include absolutely ALL accounts of previous work experience. Remember that part-time jobs, temporary assignments and internships should be mentioned. Also, make sure you list any accomplishments you might have in any of these positions. Another important aspect is volunteer work, so don’t forget to include it, too. The most vital thing here is that you are 100 percent honest and don’t indicate any experience you didn’t really have. It’s very easy to verify this information, and it’s equally hard to fix the damage a false statement on your profile will cause.

5. Academic Writing is Important

Even if you were so engrossed in your studies that you didn’t have many opportunities to gain work experience, this fact can also be turned into your advantage. Many open vacancies require such skills as reporting, academic writing and research. Thus, don’t miss an opportunity to showcase your research papers, analytic memos etc. on your LinkedIn profile. This might be exactly what your future employer is looking for.

6. Networking

As any other social media, LinkedIn is all about networking in the first place. Make sure you use its potential to the fullest. If you are not sure where to start – begin with your friends, classmates, and university instructors. With time, expand this circle with new connections – colleagues, supervisors and new acquaintances from conferences.

Summing Up

LinkedIn is not a standard social media platform everyone is used to. However, its relevance and popularity have been considerably growing with every year. Any fresh graduate feeling disheartened because of the fruitless job search should try LinkedIn and see how their career life will change. At the same time, it’s important to understand that this social media offers an extremely wide selection of different features and functions ranging from training and certifications to active recruitment. So, one should choose wisely which ones of them to utilize depending on their needs, objectives and the current stage of employment.

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