How to use LinkedIn to Find your First Job When you Graduate

How to use LinkedIn to Find your First Job When you Graduate

July 21, 2020

Are you approaching graduation?

Or perhaps looking for your first internship?

It can be a challenge finding your first role, so it’s important to give yourself every advantage that you can.

This means creating an incredible LinkedIn profile.

This post is going to show you how.

Why does LinkedIn matter when you are looking for your next job?

LinkedIn recently announced that they now have over 10 million members in Australia. That means that the majority of the working population in Australia all have a LinkedIn profile.

And where professionals can be found, recruiters are sure to follow.

Both corporate internal recruitment functions and recruitment agencies are all using LinkedIn to actively source for their next hire. They are using tools like LinkedIn Recruiter to search for and proactively approach potential new hires, they are posting job adverts to LinkedIn, and they have LinkedIn Career Pages where they post videos about what it’s like to work at their company along with links to their live job opportunities.

That is why there are two big reasons you need to get your LinkedIn profile in order:

  • Be Found
  • Be Credible

Building a strong profile means you are much more likely to be found by potential employers looking for new graduates.

Also, when you have a great looking profile, it will help you get more interviews from your applications. It’s very likely that potential employers will search you online before organising an interview with you, and this is your opportunity to put your best foot forward.

What is best practice for building your credible LinkedIn profile?

100% Complete Profile:

The first step to be found and be credible is creating a 100% complete profile.

LinkedIn puts people with a 100% complete profile higher in search results. Having a complete profile means that you will now be indexed by Google and the other search engines so that it will be found when people search for your name.

Profile Picture:

You don’t need a professional photographer to get a professional headshot. Portrait mode on an iPhone can be perfectly adequate as people will be viewing a small thumbnail of your picture.

Choose a well-lit area, ideally with a solid colour as a background, wear professional attire, only have yourself in the picture, have your head and the tops of your shoulders in the frame, and have an approachable smile. You’re good to go.

Headline:

Your headline is what will appear in searches. It is an opportunity to alert potential employers that you are looking for work, and you can include relevant keywords that you would like to be found for.

As a simple and effective structure for your LinkedIn headline, consider using the following format:

  • Eager Recent Business Graduate Seeking First Marketing Graduate Role
  • Creative Fashion Graduate Seeking First Product Branding Role
  • Analytical Business Graduate Seeking First Junior Analyst Role
  • Organised Business Graduate Seeking Entry Level Graduate Project Management Role
  • Hungry Hospitality Graduate Seeking First Role In Hotel Management

{DESCRIPTIVE} {QUALIFICATION} Graduate Seeking First {ENTRY LEVEL ROLE}

This allows a quick description of who you are, the fact that you are qualified, and the types of entry level roles you are looking for.

About Section:

Following your profile picture and headline, this will be the most read section of your profile.

  • Write in the first person, not the third person
  • Use conversational language, you don’t need to be too corporate
  • Don’t be afraid to share your personality
  • Give an overview of your relevant qualities that would appeal to an employer, why you chose your field of study, what you would like to achieve in your career, and
  • Include relevant keywords at the bottom using the following framework

Work History:

This is where your internship will really help you stand out from other potential graduates. Use the following format in the job description section to summarise your experience in this section.

Company: Include a very brief description of the company you completed your internship with.

Accomplishments: Include some accomplishments you had during your internship.

Responsibilities: Write down a few of the tasks and activities that you undertook and had exposure too within your role.

Learnings: Add a few key learnings about your time within your internship.

Technologies Used: Add some of the key technologies that you used within the role – often recruiters search for technical skills when looking for new hires.

Recommendations:

Looking for your first job and don’t know where to start in building some recommendations into your LinkedIn profile?

Step 1: Ask your lecturers and tutors ICMS if they’d be happy to give you a recommendation

Step 2: Completed an internship? Ask for a LinkedIn recommendation from everyone that would be relevant at the organisation. Getting 2-3 recommendations from people at your internship employer will be very valuable.

Step 3: Consider a “recommendation swap” with a fellow graduate.

Following this process should help you gain 4-5 LinkedIn profile recommendations which will make a huge difference in whether you are found by potential employers on the platform.

Work availability:

Ensure that you mark yourself as actively seeking new roles.

The field about whether you are actively looking for work is searchable HR functions and recruitment agency consultants when they are looking for potential hires in LinkedIn’s recruitment agency tools.

Ensuring that your LinkedIn profile states that you are actively seeking work opportunities will quickly boost the number of approaches that you receive.

Groups:

There are an abundance of LinkedIn Groups that like-minded people can join to discuss topics of interest. For example, there are groups for Graduate Jobs in Australia, as well as specific industry and skill topic groups. Joining theses and engaging in the conversation will put you in front of a whole new set of potential hiring managers. You’ll also be first to see any roles being advertised within these groups.

Education:

Be sure to detail your education. People will also be able to find you in searches and draw a connection with you based on where you studied.

How can you connect with potential hiring managers?

Getting your first few connections can be the hardest. A very new profile without many connections can ring alarm bells when you are seeking to connect with potential employers.

  • Connect with family, extended family and friends – these will be your first easy connections to get you started.
  • Connect with fellow students – your student cohort will be able to support each other throughout the entirety of their career.
  • Connect with past ICMS alumni.

 

For example, you could say:

“Hi {First Name}! I’m a recent graduate from ICMS seeking my first role and to build my professional network! I noticed you studied at ICMS too, so I’d love you to be one of my first LinkedIn connections!”

How can I appear first when people are searching for graduates?

Think of LinkedIn as a search engine for people. A lot of the principles of Search Engine Optimisation can be applied to the LinkedIn search algorithm.

LinkedIn uses a combination of the following factors when deciding who to surface in the search results:

  • Is the profile 100% complete?
  • Are relevant keywords included throughout the profile?

If you have followed the above guide your profile should now be 100% complete on LinkedIn.

Below is a clever trick that very few people know which can help you appear much higher in the search results for potential recruiters. Finish your About Me section by adapting text like the below to your own experience. Here I have used a marketing graduate as an example:

Studies included:

Branding | Marketing Strategy | Digital Marketing | Social Media Marketing | Paid Traffic Marketing | Product Positioning | Website Design | Marketing Analytics | Inbound Marketing | Video Marketing

Technologies I’ve used include:

Google Ads | Google Analytics | Facebook Ads Manager | WordPress | YouTube | Canva | Adobe After Effects | Adobe Premiere Pro | Adobe InDesign | HubSpot | Hootsuite

I’m seeking roles such as:

Marketing Coordinator | Marketing Graduate | Marketing Assistant

Using this approach is incredibly effective. It gives employers an excellent snapshot of your skills, and it fills your LinkedIn profile with relevant keywords that employers might be searching for.

So, what are you waiting for?

Potential employers are searching LinkedIn for graduates and reviewing your profile before inviting you in for interviews. Follow this guide, put your best foot forward, build your network, be found, and use LinkedIn to help transform the trajectory of your career.

Need your first LinkedIn connection? Connect with me https://www.linkedin.com/in/seanwithford/

 

Guest Post

Sean Withford
Director
Eloquent – A Sydney Digital Marketing Agency

www.eloquent.com.au

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