University students: 4 reasons why you should be on LinkedIn
We’ve heard too much about it. From professors at uni or colleagues at work – What’s all the fuss about LinkedIn anyway? The fact of the matter is, like everything else in the world, the process of how people are being hired is changing. Now more than ever, employers and specifically, HR managers want to see an evolving online CV. That’s where LinkedIn jumps in.
1. Be your own publicist: a platform to build your professional brand
I’ll put it in the simplest way. If I were an employer who wanted to dig deeper, beyond a regular CV in my inbox, I’d go right ahead and google ‘prachi tyagi university of melbourne’. The good ol’ folks at LinkedIn have inadvertently made SEO to work in our favour and, if you do it right, you’re going to be the number one search result – giving your employer a chance to look at your professional profile online, work experiences, projects you’ve worked on and even the skills you’re endorsed for by your network. By working on your LinkedIn profile, you cover everything from the courses you’ve completed to stellar recommendations from your previous work places.
2. Help yourself get shortlisted
Did you know there are applicant tracking systems (ATS) that help human resources filter out unwanted CVs? Yup, welcome to the future. If your LinkedIn profile does not consist of specific significant or even trending keywords from your industry which cater to the job position you’re aiming to get, then I’m afraid it’s easy to get lost among hundreds of other profiles. Two words. Include keywords. This will help your profile show up in search results.
3. Explore your industry
One of the many questions that bother a university student is the kind of roles open to them after graduation. LinkedIn acts as the ultimate search function to help you research on the career paths of your university alumni. This could be one way to map out the kind of jobs you want to apply for after graduation. Another handy way to use this platform is right before a job interview. Learn about the company through their company page or get an insight into the people interviewing you beforehand. All this information is bound to be useful.
4. Virtual networking 101
Did you know that about 70% of jobs are found through networking? That’s not just a number I’m throwing out. In fact, I got hired through LinkedIn in 3 out of 4 jobs I’ve had so far. My mantra – connect with people in your field and follow companies that you aspire to work for. And while you’re at it, make sure you’re sending a customized message when you connect with a total stranger on LinkedIn. I personally have made hundreds of connections in the field of corporate communications from around the world working in top marketing communication companies. Not only does it give you a chance to follow their work through your newsfeed, making a connection on LinkedIn opens a two-way channel – giving these professionals a look into your potential. And this is where I mention interacting on your LinkedIn newsfeed often. Make sure its sincere. It may be a ‘like’, or a congratulatory message – stay on your professional network’s radar by occasionally updating your LinkedIn status – with what you’re working on, articles that inspire you, and so on. There is plenty of inspiration waiting for you on LinkedIn.