LinkedIn has more than 45 million students and recent graduates on its job-finding platform. If you are one of them, you’re probably motivated to begin your real-world career.
The good news: LinedIn offers lots of ways to help. The better news: In these early stages, you can find success without having to be the perfect candidate.
“When you’re hiring for entry-level positions, you know there’ll be on-the-job training”, says Blair Decembrele, a career expert at LinkedIn. “You’re looking for someone who’s interested in a career, is a hard worker, has good interpersonal skills, and is set up for success.”
Here’s how to leverage the LinkedIn app to hit all those marks.
Network like it’s your job:
As the adage kinda-sorta says: Finding a job isn’t always about what you know, it’s about who you’re connected to on social media. More than 70 percent of professionals say they’ve been hired at companies where they have a personal connection, according to LinkedIn. But networks, of course, don’t create themselves.
“If you don’t have one, it’s OK,” says Decembrele. “You can easily build one”.
“Don’t reach out and say , ‘Hey, I want a job’,” advises Decembrele. “Say something like, ‘I want to learn more about your day-to-day role’. We find that people really do want to help each other.”
This isn’t just crucial networking, by the way- it’s also a way to discover opportunities you might not have the otherwise seen.
“Maybe you didn’t know that you could be a show runner, or a graphic designer for a podcast,” says Decembrele. “There are lot of niche industries. Networking helps you learn about all your options.”
Chat with an instant mentor:
LinkedIn’s Career Advice feature is a great(and often overlooked) source of insight.
Through Career Advice, members who are manager level or higher make themselves available for questions about careers, resumes, and interviews. LinkedIn calls this “lightweight mentoring.”
To set it up, enable the “Career Advice hub” in your dashboard, set your preferences (like how often you wish to be contacted), and wait for potential matches.
Make the most of your college experience:
As you probably already know, you should list all your job and internship experience in your profile. But also be sure to include any clubs, awards, intramural teams, yearbooks, leadership posts, non-leadership posts- anything that can qualify as an activity. After all, employers are looking at much more than your work history.
“College grads often come to us saying, ‘I haven’t had a job, so what do i do?”, says Decembrele. “Well, you have had a job. As a student, you probably have some kind of portfolio- maybe writing samples or a website. Did you work with the student newspaper? Were you the head of a club where you had to rally 35 people? All those little things help people understand who you are and what you’re looking for.”
(This article was first published on App store stories)