7 LinkedIn Strategies For College Seniors

Written by  //  12/29/2009  //  Career Planning  //  4 Comments

Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, are popular social networking sites for college students, but what about LinkedIn? LinkedIn was launched in 2003 and is used mainly for professional networking, the kind of site that college seniors who will soon be looking for work need to be active with.

linked handsWith more than 50 million registered users, LinkedIn is one of the largest social networking website, but not always one fully appreciated by job searchers. Lets take a look at LinkedIn and how it can help you in your job search.

1. Sign Up – Registration is easy and can be accomplished in minutes. However, the remainder of your work time–as in building an online resume–can take hours to complete. You can shorten that considerably by making sure that your resume is updated before taking bits and pieces of it and using it on LinkedIn. Be prepared to upload a photograph of yourself, explain who you are in the provided summary, and to list your specialties.

2. Straighten Up – Your profile will be how people find and view you on LinkedIn. Therefore, make sure that it accurately reflects who you are and what you do. Seek recommendations from people who know you, link to related blogs and websites you own provided that they are professional, add in your Twitter account(s), and check your language to make sure that everything is written in the third person.

3. Connect – LinkedIn is big on connections meaning if you want to stand out on this site, you need to connect with as many meaningful people as possible. One easy way to do that is to upload all of your contact information through your email account to learn who is already using LinkedIn. Include a personal note to people to ask them to link to you, otherwise your response rate may be low. Worse, some people may not recall who you are and file a complaint with LinkedIn. Though this won’t get you banned from the site, you can find it to be more difficult to connect with people until you promise to abide by LinkedIn terms, even if you have already been doing so.

4. Join Groups – There are plenty of groups on LinkedIn worth exploring and certainly worth joining as a way to connect with like minded people. This can become one of your best opportunities to be found on LinkedIn and to connect with people who may be in a position to hire you. Ask a contact to connect you with a hiring authority if you don’t have a direct connection and are wanting to make contact.

5. Ask Questions – One of the most enjoyable features of LinkedIn is its “Questions” section which allows members to ask questions of each other. Some are simple as in, “Will you be working between Christmas and New Year’s Day?” or more involved with questions about the economy, politics, you name it. You can ask questions yourself or provide answers; both offer a nice way for you to raise your visibility on LinkedIn.

6. Twitter – You can send tweets through LinkedIn which is a good way to inform everyone on LinkedIn and on Twitter what you’re up to.

7. Reach Out – Besides participating by asking questions or supplying answers, be active on LinkedIn by updating your profile as needed, providing recommendations when appropriate, take in local events, read blogs supplied by your connections and leaving relevant comments with same, and set up your account to receive messages to your inbox—respond to these as soon as possible, start a LinkedIn group yourself.

Did I cover everything? No, that wasn’t my intention. Instead, if I’ve piqued your interest enough to join LinkedIn or use this service more frequently, then I’ve succeeded in that endeavor. Yes, college students who aren’t seniors should join too–get a leg up on the competition by participating early and often.

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