July 25, 2017, by Carla Froggatt
5 Reasons to Join LinkedIn Before Starting Your Job Search
By Jennifer Tait, Marketing and Social Media Co-ordinator at Bridgewater Graduates
LinkedIn can be an extremely valuable tool. However, many graduates still start their job search without setting up a profile. Sound like you?
With sixty percent of employers using social networking sites to research job candidates, LinkedIn can be so much more than your online CV. You just need to figure out how to use it to its full potential.
LinkedIn is a positive and professional online presence
When applying for graduate jobs, did you know that employers might look you up online? Your personal accounts like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter should be made private and make sure you check you don’t have any incriminating profile photos. As default most networks will set your account to public – unless you change them.
Your LinkedIn profile, on the other hand, is something that you can show off to employers. You could even include a link to your profile on your CV. Want to show off your industry expertise and writing skills? Make the most of LinkedIn’s publishing features by posting your own article. Any articles you publish will be visible to employers on your profile. You can also display evidence of your key skills and experience by asking for endorsements. Have you completed any work experience? Did you volunteer one summer? Ask for a recommendation.
You can follow companies you’re interested in
A lot of companies share regular updates on their LinkedIn pages. These usually include industry and company news as well as current opportunities. For example, here’s a recent post from top graduate employer, Aldi.
If you’ve got some companies in mind that you would like to work for, it’s definitely worth following them and liking some of their posts. If they post about some industry news, you could share your expertise in the comments. Or if they post about a job opportunity, you could express you interest and ask a question about the role or recruitment process.
3. You can keep up with industry news
Once you’ve decided what industry you would like to enter into you can join relevant groups and follow influential people in that industry on LinkedIn. For example, if you want to persue a career in the recruitment industry you should be following serial recruitment entrepreneur and well-known dragon James Caan. If you’re looking to enter the digital marketing industry you may want to follow top influencers like Gary Vaynerchuk and SEO expert Rand Fishkin.
This will help you to keep up to date with industry news and developments. It also shows potential employers that you have a keen interest in your professional and are commercially aware.
4. You can find graduate opportunities
There are currently over 19,000 graduate jobs advertised on LinkedIn! These can be found in the ‘Jobs’ area where you can search for relevant roles. Many more graduate employers and recruiters, such as Unilever, Lidl and Barclays also post about their graduate jobs on their company LinkedIn page.
5. LinkedIn will help you now and in the future
Once you’ve secured a graduate job, the benefits of LinkedIn don’t end there. Moving forward, you can grow and maintain a valuable professional network. You should connect with your fellow graduates, colleagues and business associates. As your career progresses, you never know when these contacts may prove useful.