LinkedIn Must-Haves For The Class of 2018 & Beyond

By Zach Seybert
In April 4, 2018

In the next couple months, the Class of 2018 will officially be ending their college careers. It may seem like just yesterday you were moving into your dorm and meeting your roommate for the first time. Next thing you know you’re ordering your cap and gown and applying for registration. When you walk across that stage, you officially leave college and enter the “real world.”

If you have not yet accepted a job, you are likely tired of getting asked what your next steps will be. (For some job-seeking tips, check out these for soon-to-be college grads!) Chances are you are an active social media user, so you should use it to your benefit during the job hunt. One of the best resources to use is LinkedIn.

If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, you should absolutely create one as it is essentially a living version of your resume and a representation of your professional brand. Without one, “you simply don’t exist in the working world,” according to Omar Garriott. Whether you are graduating in the next couple months or recently graduated and still on the job hunt, make sure you include these must-haves on your profile!

An Appropriate Photo

Similar to an “egg” avatar on Twitter, a LinkedIn profile sans photo is hard to take seriously. That said, your picture should be of you in a professional setting, dressed appropriately. After all, this is your professional brand!

You could be the most qualified candidate on paper (your profile), but if you don’t have a picture, hiring managers might shy away from even considering you. Not only do you want to give yourself the best chance at getting an interview (and ultimately hired), but having a profile picture gets 14 times more views than one without.

Examples Of Your Work

One of the great features that LinkedIn offers and your physical resume does not is the ability to show examples of your work. For example, if you are a graphic designer, you can include some of the images you have created at past jobs or on the side. By showing your work, employers and connections can see what you are capable of instead of you telling them.

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A Unique URL

When you first create your LinkedIn profile, an automated URL is provided for your profile. You are able to customize it in your account settings to make it something easier to remember and more personalized. By customizing the URL, you are also essentially optimizing your profile for search engines. For example, my LinkedIn profile can be found at www.linkedin.com/in/zacharyseybert.

In doing this, if an employer is to do a Google search for you, your profile will be easier to find. It is also something you can include on your resume and other social media accounts.

Connections

The purpose of LinkedIn is to network, so in order to do that you must connect with people!  To start, you can connect with current and former supervisors, classmates, family and school advisors. By building your network you open yourself up to potential opportunities down the road.

The popular job search saying goes “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” Building a network takes this a step further by opening up the latter part of the phrase. You might know someone who knows another person (a second-degree connection, if you will) that has an opportunity with his or her company. That is the power of networking!

Wrap Up

LinkedIn has become an essential tool for job seekers as well as working professionals. It takes the potential awkwardness of networking events out of the equation and opens the door to connect with industry professionals around the globe. Creating a profile (if you don’t already have one) is the first step to building your network. However, just having a profile isn’t enough – you must know what to include! You can read the rest of Omar Garriott’s LinkedIn tips here.

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Zach is a Digital Content and Marketing Specialist with NexGoal, who specializes in creating career transition and job search preparation content.