I don’t know about you, but I tend to spend way too much time using social media. Instead of posting selfies or photos of food, how about learning how to use LinkedIn to help you get a job after graduation? Of all the life hacks you can develop some of the best life hacks involve learning how to network and make the kind of contacts that can help you in your career.
Here are few ideas on how LinkedIn can get you on the road to success and why you should be using it now.
How to use LinkedIn
You probably already know this, but LinkedIn is the social media site for professionals. It’s not geared toward posting cute kitten videos like you would on Facebook. It’s a place to post your resume and put yourself out there to meet the movers and shakers in your industry. And hopefully get job offers.
According to Mark Babbitt, if you’re going to graduate in four years, the time to get started on LinkedIn is today. Mark’s blog, YouTern.com offers all kinds of advice for college students such as his July 7, 2014, post, “30 Things College Students Should be Doing on LinkedIn Right Now.”
It’s a pretty long list, but some of the highlights include:
- Post a really good headshot photo of yourself when building your profile.
- Have a compelling headline that describes you.
- List your special skills, experience (including internships) projects and your specific niche (what you’re really good at) also any volunteer work you’ve done.
- List honors, achievements and organizations to which you belong.
You’ll want to be noticed by people in your industry. “Join and contribute to LinkedIn Groups that serve your industry or where you share common interests with others (and don’t just lurk, share relevant content and participate),” Babbitt advised.
Best life hacks for using LinkedIn
Tufts University grad Alex Farmer described, “6 LinkedIn Do’s & Don’t’s For College Students,” in a guest post for TheSocialU101.com.
Farmer’s advice to college students is pretty common sense:
- Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date.
- Don’t stalk the people you’re trying to connect with. Always be polite.
- Make sure that your profile is relevant to the type of career you’re looking for.
- Remember that it’s not just who you’re connected with, but who they’re connected with, too.
Every once in a while, post an article with your thoughts on the industry that you want to break into. That way maybe you’ll get comments from people that you want to meet.
“And even if the people commenting can’t help you, maybe someone they know can. Instead of going out and searching for connections in the right places, make it more likely that they come to you – you never know who in your network might help you land your first job,” Farmer said.
Grow your network
LinkedIn offers subscribers an amazingly fast and diverse method of growing your contact list. As explained in How to Succeed in Business Using LinkedIn: Making Connections and Capturing Opportunities on the Web’s #1 Business Networking Site, by Eric Butow and Kathleen Taylor, 2009, found on Questia: “When I joined LinkedIn, about 14 of my colleagues asked to link with me, and I asked to link with some of them. By degrees I expanded my link network to hundreds of LinkedIn members because my originally linked members have links to hundreds of other connections. And those hundreds of connections have thousands more.”
You can also use LinkedIn for recommendations:
- Friends, teachers, colleagues, internship partners and fellow employees can write recommendations for other users. This helps researchers find users with similar interests, business experience and who’s hiring in your network.
- Also use LinkedIn to find employees who work at the company you’re researching—connect with them to learn about the company, get feedback, learn what the turnover rate is, and other useful information.
For more information on employment, business and technology, check out Questia.com’s Economics and Business library.
Have you tried LinkedIn yet? How is it working for you?