LinkedIn is a professional social media platform that is considered to be the world’s most popular website for business networking. For years, it has been the go-to place to find job prospects and connect with people from a business point of view. It has grown enormously since its inception and there are very few people currently who haven’t heard of it. LinkedIn has over 660 million users, which means your opportunities for meeting a future employer on this website are endless. This makes having a well-maintained profile on LinkedIn an essential task when you in the job market. It acts as your face to the workforce community around you. It is what an employer will look at through the process of recruitment.
Technology is very well advanced in the current world that a platform like LinkedIn which offers dynamism and adaptability to users is preferred over a paper-based CV and cover letter. This is especially true to the younger generation, who are just coming out of universities and are looking to enter the corporate world. Having a complete and up to date LinkedIn profile that clearly shows your story and highlights your professional experiences and skills will improve your chances of being hired.
As a young graduate, getting that first job can be a daunting task. You are not familiar with the industry yet; you do not have many connections and lack the experience of working in the corporate sector. LinkedIn offers you a space where you can build your network with just a few clicks, understand the job market around you and stay on top of news and trends in your industry or country easily.
Here are a few things you can do on LinkedIn to get your first job in Australia.
- MARKET YOURSELF – It’s important to stand out from the crowd when it comes to LinkedIn. You want to appear more often in different areas or topics, and for that you need to market yourself well. Even if you do not have a lot of job experience, you should list down your achievements, projects, honours and awards down, have all the courses you have taken be visible on your profile. If you have undertaken any internships or part time work, list that does as well, and highlight what you learnt from those experiences. Do remember to only put down relevant and important information, as opposed to detailing every single event from your life. A tip for how to improve your profile is to add a professional profile picture. It increases the chances of your profile being viewed by nearly 15 times. Write an informative headline as well, this is usually the first thing someone will see when they visit your profile, after your picture. Be clear and concise, for e.g. “Honour student seeking a finance internship”
- CONNECT – The basic mission of LinkedIn is to get your profile out there in the hands of companies and employers, and while this isn’t an easy task, it is not impossible either. The first step is to start connecting. Peers, professors and lecturers, family, friends, past employers, colleagues, classmates and more. Even if they don’t seem like they will be of help to you right now, they might pay off at some point in the future. It is good to appear as though you are well connected as well. Make sure to make your connection request personalized as well, especially when you are sending them out to someone you don’t know well. Most people are willing to help you, so by being frank and clear about your reason for connecting, you can take a step closer to getting to your goal.
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- BE ACTIVE – As is true for any other social media platform, being active is the way to reap the most benefits. Even if you think you cannot write posts on LinkedIn yet, a good way to be active is to comment, like and share posts you find interesting. This is a sign to other people that you are serious about your interests. It also gives them a good understanding of your personality.
- LIST YOUR SKILLS – This section might be the most important part of your LinkedIn profile, and it doesn’t require you to have extensive experience in the workplace. This list shows prospective employers a brief snapshot of what you are capable of. If you have done projects in university or have any experience as an intern, you can list down what you have learnt and achieved from them. It’s a good idea to have your professors or employers to certify these skills and provide links to your projects so that you can look more professional as well.
- BE A PART OF GROUPS – LinkedIn works a lot like Facebook when it comes to organizing like-minded people together in the form of groups and pages. Groups on LinkedIn can be a great source of information and news in the industry. There are many groups dedicated to helping graduates find jobs in Australia such as Graduate Jobs Australia (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/5160793/) and other more specific groups for certain industries like Sydney IT and ACC Graduate Career Support Group (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/13922119/. Once you are part of these groups, you can take part in discussions and forums, ask questions and make new networks. It helps exposing you to relevant and recent trends in the corporate world and job market as well.
- READ AND BE AWARE – LinkedIn also works as a media website that provides you with the latest news and articles about the job hunt and industry topics. Follow influencers and key business people who seem to be in the same industry or field as you. This will keep you aware of new job openings, as well as keep you motivated.
- KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR JOBS YOU ARE INTERESTED IN – Rather than blindly applying for all jobs that are available, it’s more fruitful to find a company you want to work at, follow their company page and learn about what the company does really well. You can also figure out very early on who is the recruiter in the company, who you will work under and what are the job requirements. Having this extra knowledge can give you an edge when you finally do land the interview. By following the company page can, you can get updates on new hires, any promotions available and job opportunities.
- LOOK FOR EVENTS – Find business events that are happening around you that might help you grow your network and learn new skills. Events are usually planned with a specific purpose or goal in mind, and finding relevant events can give you a perfect opportunity to meet people and see how well you can work with them.
- APPLY TO JOBS – The last and best reason why LinkedIn is the most helpful to people looking to get their first jobs is that, in addition to all the points above, it also allows job seekers to be connected to employers and apply to jobs directly. There are many websites that provide you with business information, there are many that help you connect to people, and there are a few that help you find jobs, but LinkedIn is the only one where you can do all of it. LinkedIn makes it easy to find jobs according to your skills and experience and you can apply for the same on the website itself.
It might not be a quick and easy way to getting a job, but LinkedIn does play a huge role in your journey from applying to jobs to being employed and more. It can help you get your foot through the door, and once you are in, you can use your experiences and skills to your greatest advantage.
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