How Students & Graduates are using LinkedIn to Land a Job (or Internship)
Two LinkedIn experts have written a book aiming to help students and graduates utilise LinkedIn effectively in their job search and throughout their careers. Miguel, one of the co-authors shares his top tips in this article; you can find links to purchase the book at the end.
LinkedIn can offer the best chance of landing your dream job or internship, regardless of what you have studied or what career you want to pursue. And this is why…
Where else can students and graduates connect directly to hundreds of millions of employees who are already doing the jobs that they’re looking for? What about access to millions of recruiters and hiring managers? And let’s not forget the millions of jobs representing the in-demand skills, knowledge, and experience of today’s job market. On top of this you have one of the most valuable streams of company news and updates that are revealing the future trends of the world of work.
So how are savvy students and graduates using LinkedIn to find jobs and further their careers?
Spend Time Exploring LinkedIn – don’t rush it!
Finding a way into the best jobs, starts with knowing how to search, where to search, and what to search for on LinkedIn.
How to search
Use keywords and filters to come up with the best results. This means taking time to understand trends in your industry, variations in job titles, and the specific knowledge that is required for different roles.
Where to search
Take a deeper look into groups and organisations. Visit company pages to learn more about what they stand for and what they do. What’s the vibe you’re getting from what they publish? Who at that company is active on LinkedIn and what are they sharing? What can you learn from industry or topic related groups that excites you, or causes you to re-consider your options?
What to search
It’s about content, people, and opportunities. Don’t forget you can use #hashtags to search for and follow communities on LinkedIn discussing the things you care about. This is a great way to explore and discover amazing content and inspirational stories. Want to know who can refer you for the job?
The most ambitious students may spend months searching for, connecting to, and messaging multiple people at each company where they’re applying. They look for opportunities to get valuable insights that make all the difference during the hiring process. They then build strong relationships with the people who influence and make hiring decisions – even if it means having these conversations months or years before they need to start looking jobs.
Establish a Presence of Authority & Credibility – don’t stay hidden!
Don’t underestimate what value you can offer employers; you don’t need to be an expert or a working professional – focus on the passion, interests, ambitions, skills, knowledge, and experience you already have.
If you look through the best LinkedIn profiles, you would never guess they are a student or recent graduate because they’re focused on what employers are looking for rather than their grades or degrees. There’s nothing wrong with being proud of and sharing academic achievements, but the student who gets the opportunity was probably leading with their personal achievements outside of university. These students take their student life and flip it to demonstrate the professional value of their assignments and projects related to the type of careers they’re looking for.
Turn Online Chats into Offline Meetings – don’t be afraid to ask for their time!
This is the ultimate tactic that turns students and graduates into professionals, thanks to their presence and activities on LinkedIn.
It’s super easy to connect with hundreds of people. It’s easy to message them and chat online after connecting, and most will stop there. What’s not easy is getting busy professionals to give you their time and attention on a call, and even harder to get any face time. But it’s not impossible!
While they probably get hundreds of emails every day, it’s much less likely they get hundreds of messages on LinkedIn. Be smart about using these touchpoints to build a relationship, where you can ask for the person’s time. This is done by showing enthusiasm, asking the right questions, and demonstrating what you have to offer aligned to the job description and business requirements.
Learn what Works & what doesn’t, then get Back Out There – don’t stop learning and getting better!
Apply your learning to refine your LinkedIn presence and activities. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get those first interviews or job offers. You will soon get past any nerves or setbacks and realise that the possibilities are endless when you keep looking! Behind every job that got away is a multitude of other people, companies, and jobs waiting to be discovered. LinkedIn reminds you of this by constantly recommending other people you might want to connect with and jobs similar to the jobs you’ve applied for, navigating you towards other opportunities.
And one day, after months of using LinkedIn like a pro, a message will land in your inbox from a recruiter who believes that you would be a great fit for a job they’ve just posted on LinkedIn.
You’ve been discovered and people are listening carefully.
You’ve mastered LinkedIn.
Success during Your Career
It doesn’t stop there!
LinkedIn is a great tool to succeed early in your career. We’ve seen graduates during internships use it to connect quickly across their team, department and offices across the world. Students use it to share what they’re working on and what value they’re bringing to their work every day, even if it’s just a part-time job or short work experience. This brings unprecedented visibility for these young people across their companies.
Now if you look through LinkedIn you can find young people early in their careers using it to share their company’s success, ask for advice and support on projects, and to connect with professional events and communities that bring people together from across different organisations.
With all these great resources, students, graduates, and interns are better placed to make career choices that lead to their own versions of success, by finding where their unique value and contributions can make the biggest impact.
About the book
With over a decade of experience, and knowing how much LinkedIn can help, we wrote the book ‘LinkedIn for Students, Graduates, and Educators’.
Co-authored by Melonie Dodaro – a #1 best-seller and one of the world’s leading LinkedIn experts, and Miguel Angel Garcia Elizondo, a respected consultant who has taught more than 4000 students how to leverage social media to advance their careers.
The book offers a strategy to stand out, connect and land the job you want: how to build a platform for your talents on LinkedIn – creating authority, building trust and getting noticed by the right people. Then, how to build relationships with influential professionals who can help open doors to the career you want.
HelloGrads were asked to contribute to the book, so make sure you read our guide ‘HelloGrads Tips for Students’ detailing things you can do whilst still at university or soon after graduation, to ease yourself into working life.
Click here to buy the book or find out more.