Unless you’re serious about your career and want to gain a head-start in building it, stay away from this article.
With more than 330 million users worldwide, LinkedIn has started giving the recruitment agencies a run for their money as a professional tool to identify and convert job opportunities. The recent collaboration of LinkedIn with the celebrated youth brand- MTV and other big brands like Intel, Mercedez Benz, TCS, Reliance, etc. for their intern requirements is a testimony to this fact.
Without bragging any further on how the professional world in India is slowly waking up to the resourcefulness of LinkedIn, we bring you a few useful tips you could use as a student or a recent graduate to tap the full potential of LinkedIn for getting hired –
First things first, complete your profile
Many students just start connecting randomly to the HR managers of various companies they are interested in without even completing their profiles. It is as good as sending a blank resume to a prospective employer.
- Fill out the summary section, experience, and education (see Pic 1). In case you do not have any prior experience, you could mention your projects (see Pic 2) and in addition, you could also add certifications. Many companies like AMCAT, Internshala, etc. provide certifications tailor-made to be added to your LinkedIn profile (see Pic 4).
- Upload a photo which is professional and apt. (see Pic 2)
- Most importantly, have a very specific profile statement; it is something that the employer sees first while searching for prospective candidates. For example, describing yourself as a ‘Student at XYZ University‘ is not as meaningful to potential employers as ‘Internship-seeking Master of Science student.’
- Include keywords in your profile. That’s how the employers will find you! If someone wants an MBA intern then it will be much easier to find you if your introductory headline reads ‘Internship-seeking MBA student’, isn’t it?
Advance your search and connect the right way
Before LinkedIn, one would have had to look up for some contact at a company or call the front desk cold and ask for HR for recruitment/information purposes. But LinkedIn has reduced this tedious process into a few simple searches on its platform.
Let us assume you are interested to do an internship at McKinsey. So, either you could perform an advanced search (see Pic 5) to find profiles with keywords ‘HR – McKinsey’ and filter it further (using different other parameters like location, etc.) or you could use LinkedIn for students and recent graduates (see Pic 7) – a platform that enables its users to search exclusively for internships and entry-level jobs offered by companies from all around the world.
Next, when adding connections, make sure you personalize your message. LinkedIn sends a default message in the connect request and gives you an option to edit it. For example- Saying ‘Hi John, Hope you’re well. Wanted to connect to you regarding internship openings at Internshala. Thanks’ has a better chance of getting a reply than ‘Hi John, I would like to add you to my professional network in LinkedIn.’
LinkedIn also has this wonderful feature of importing contacts from your email accounts (see Pic 6). On top of it, you can also ask for an introduction to a new connect from a person you already know or are connected with on LinkedIn (see Pic 8). Write a message to the person who will introduce you and be clear about why you want to get introduced.
Join relevant groups, company pages
There are university alumni groups, industry-specific groups, etc. on LinkedIn. Join groups and company pages which will allow you to connect with people working in your desired field or industry.
Be an active member, check out the discussions and try to contribute or may be even start a new discussion. Never make comments like “Can anyone get me a job here?”; unlike Facebook, LinkedIn is a network of professionals and that warrants the need of employing proper etiquette while communicating. Even though this is a lengthy method of making relevant contacts, it can highlight you in front of a prospective employer on a very professional platform.
Recommendations & endorsements
Just like a physical resume has recommendations from your colleagues or professors, LinkedIn also provides such options. Furthermore, it also allows other connections in your profile to endorse your skills. A recommendation or endorsement enhances the chances of your profile being considered by a prospective employer. Ask relevant people in your circle (like professors) for recommendations.
If you have got an interview at XYZ Company, then you could use LinkedIn to know about the latest happenings in the company which can really give you a solid head-start. It also allows you to build a network of professionals working there.
LinkedIn will surely help create your way into your dream company, but only if you use it as an active participant. If you are not yet on this platform then you need to step in fast and set up your opportunity!
Do you see profiles of people in corporate world with positions/headlines filled with impressive industry jargon and wonder what could you possibly write as a mere student? Here’s some help. Read all about What to write in your LinkedIn profile if you are a student.
Image credits – www.wikihow.com/ , www.linked-initiatives.com/