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LinkedIn is a MUST for new grads (well really anyone)!

Congratulations on graduating! Now that you have your education, it’s time to put it to use. How are you going to find a job where you can use your strengths, find a company that aligns to your values and support yourself? The best way to do this is through your network. LinkedIn was designed for individuals to leverage their networks and find a job. There is no better tool.

Here are just a few reasons why you MUST be on LinkedIn:

  1. Recruiters in a hurry turn to Google and LinkedIn to find qualified job candidates.

There are two primary reasons that LinkedIn makes you more findable as a job candidate:

  • Google typically puts LinkedIn near the top of the first page of search results for those recruiters who use Google to find candidates.
  • LinkedIn’s primary source of revenue is recruiters who pay LinkedIn for the privilege of searching through the member database for qualified candidates.

So, having a strong LinkedIn profile puts you in position to be found no matter where a recruiter is searching. Not having a LinkedIn profile can be a cause for concern. Why don’t you have a LinkedIn Profile? Do you understand how important it is? Are you hiding something? What’s wrong with you?

2. LinkedIn Gives You Credibility

LinkedIn is one of the first places an employer or recruiter checks to verify the contents of a resume or job application.

Having an “All Star” profile, helps assure recruiters that the facts on your application are correct — after all, your colleagues, friends, and family can see the contents of your profile. The assumption is that what you make public it is more apt to be more accurate than what you submit online.

3. LinkedIn Helps You Expand Your Network

Even with so many jobs posted online, networking is the most effective (and quickest) way to connect to a new job. LinkedIn give you the ability to have first, second and third connections at any employer. Whether an acquaintance or friend, you can and should reach out to them to ask for help.

This is networking. This is what LinkedIn is built to do because it is so essential to careers and to job hunting.

4. You Can Connect with Employers on LinkedIn

If you ask any recruiter what the best source of new hires is, they will tell you it is employee referrals. Employee referrals are when existing employee of an employer recommends someone for a job — it is the number one source of hires, far ahead of job postings.

  • The referring employee already knows what it’s like to work there, so if they refer someone it’s because they feel he or she can do the work, and would make a worthwhile addition to the organization.
  • No employee will refer someone that leads colleagues to question their judgment. So employee referrals are valued because the candidates have been vetted by someone who is in a position to do that well.
  • The new employee has a built-in support systems, starting with the person who referred them.

This is the most ideal way for a candidate to get connected an employer. As you grow your LinkedIn network, it generally becomes targeted towards particular industries or employers which is a critical part of your job search strategy.

5. LinkedIn Is Critical for Interview Prep

Most professionals have a LinkedIn profile. Reviewing your interviewers profile will put you in a great position to find commonalities and understand their background to be able to better questions. You will find that a lot of people have worked for a lot of companies — this means a lot of people you could potentially reach out to for your preparation to be comprehensive.

This is the kind of information that lets you ask great questions in your interview; the kind of information that shows you’re resourceful and know how to do good research; the kind of information that says yes, they need you to join their team.

The Bottom Line

A job search is a hard process, no question. LinkedIn is a powerful tool that makes it a lot easier for new grads because it offers you an effective way to become visible and to have a bigger network.

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