How important is LinkedIn to graduates?

LinkedIn is always regarded as the ‘facebook’ for professionals. However, how important is LinkedIn to graduates and should they spend time to make their profile unique?

As a graduate recruiter, we, like many agencies, employ LinkedIn to both find candidates and find out a bit more about them. CVs can seem very similar and often don’t contain enough information, or simply too much. LinkedIn provides a more personable approach to recruitment, with the ability to see graduates, their interests and their employment and education history. LinkedIn is a powerful tool to engage with agencies and employers, and you can sign up to groups and follow people with similar interests.

As a recruitment consultant, we rely on information being up to date, including employment, what interests you and education - if you’re studying a Masters, put it on LinkedIn! Every piece of information you add makes you easier to find, unique and adds value to you. So it is well worth having a LinkedIn profile and updating it as a graduate.

What should I have on my LinkedIn profile?

  1. A professional profile picture. Avoid pictures of you on your night out, wedding or group shot. Take a professional headshot picture with a plain background. A good tip is to put a piece of white paper or cloth on your lap to improve the lighting.
  2. What and where you studied, as well as grades. We want to know what you studied, so add detail to your courses and what you personally studied, and add your grades where you can.
  3. Previous Employment. Try and amass as much experience as possible to gain as much exposure. Students forget that their placements provide valuable networks of people, so it is worth your time, even if it is a voluntary placement.
  4. Unique and personal bio. Add a bio of yourself, ideally no longer than 150 words, that really gets across who you are. Add what interests you, your hobbies and what you’re looking for so we know the type of person you are and what company you’d suit working at.
  5. Add media where you can. If you have a portfolio, or you’ve worked on marketing materials, add a reference or link to this. If you’ve appeared in the newspaper for your study or new discovery, be sure to add this also.
  6. Get endorsements and references. Try to encourage people to endorse you for your skills and to write a quick reference where they can. Again, this adds to your qualities and builds a picture on who you are.

IT Graduate Recruitment specialises in finding IT, Science and Maths graduates their future careers with exciting and innovative employers. If you are a graduate, or soon to be graduate, looking for your next adventure, speak to us today.

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