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7 Steps to Get Started on LinkedIn

Faizan Patankar
Written by Faizan Patankar

I always recommend that students and graduates should join the professional network LinkedIn as soon as possible. It is not just about uploading a CV or filling in some details. There are recruitment companies constantly searching for people to interview and bring to their organisations. Unfortunately, graduates think LinkedIn is only for employed people, which is not true! So, have a read, get onto the LinkedIn network, and to get started, here is a link to my profile /www.linkedin.com/in/faizanpatankar. Add me and in the message write “Referred from Career Geek Blog” and I will add you back.

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1. Don’t wait to get a job- sign up and look for one!

Do not postpone getting onto LinkedIn. I joined as early as my second year at University, whilst looking for an internship. With the number of recruiting agents and organisations on LinkedIn higher than ever, there might be some who are looking for graduates with the specific set of skills you have to offer! Top tip: sign up and fill in your profile information as soon as you finish reading this post.

2. Privacy is not an issue here – upload a picture!

As opposed to some other social networks, remember, LinkedIn is a professional network. It is good practice to upload your photo on your profile and not leave it blank. In the world of business, every t has to be crossed and every i needs to be dotted. And, please, do not upload a photo in a football t-shirt, or party clothes: that is unprofessional and having spoken to recruiters, they do not like it.

3. Sell your experience!

I have reviewed a few profiles for people requesting a review and one thing that comes up immediately is the lack of details in the ‘Experience’ section. You should list your experiences at different organisations and include a summary of what your job and responsibilities were. It is not to your advantage to show you have worked at a top company but not explaining what you have done there. Fill it in!

4. Tip and trick – format your public profile URL!

I love this trick and believe it is one of the top ones! Your public profile will be something like this: www.linkedin.com/pub/XXXXXXXXXX/40/9a0/854 . You can change it to something more viewer-friendly, like this www.linkedin.com/in/faizanpatankar. You can do it free of charge. Go to your profile page and select “Edit Profile” from the “Profile” section on the main menu bar on top of the page -> go to the link next to “Public Profile” in the box in the front dashboard -> click “Edit” to edit URL -> go to the box “Your Public Profile URL” in the right hand panel of the page -> click on “Customize Your Public Profile URL” to change it to something more professional – usually firstnamelastname. Simple but a must for jobseekers!

5. Join groups and discussions!

Once you have updated your profile, it is time to join groups and take part in discussions. Start building networks and comment on subjects you have experience in, or knowledge of. This is one way of showcasing your knowledge to those who might get interested in finding out more about you.

6. Use the right keywords on LinkedIn!

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Use the right keywords. As a graduate job seeker, it is important to know what your experience is and how to present it using keywords employers understand. Have a look at this post which shows the keywords employers look for and how you can relate to them.

7. Ask for recommendation – be recommended!

If you do have your part-time employer or academic professor on LinkedIn and in your network, ask them for a recommendation. It is about a paragraph, similar to a reference letter, but it has a plus point. It shows that someone supports and recommends you publicly. I was offered a recommendation, but declined because I had some job discussions going on. It is not just good will – you only get a recommendation if someone thinks you are an asset to any organisation and that is what employers appreciate.

I believe that, if you follow these seven points or avoid making these mistakes, you will have covered the basics, with respect to LinkedIn.

Review my LinkedIn profile?

Only to the users of Career Geek Blog, I am offering a review service, free of charge. All you have to do is Like our Facebook page, add me on LinkedIn (I need that to review your profile!) and post a comment on our facebook page. I will review your profile and get back to you with suggestions for advanced changes that might help you gain prominence in the LinkedIn search engine.

Can graduates get a job through LinkedIn?

In short, Yes! There have been cases, where graduates have been called for interview through searches done on LinkedIn. It is a one time-investment you will not regret, not least for the sheer amount of professional content shared in groups and discussion forums. How can I vouch for it – I got my job through LinkedIn 🙂

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About the author

Faizan Patankar

Faizan Patankar

I started Career Geek Blog in 2011 to share my experience in job-hunting. I now focus on careers industry and blogging is just a tool to share that info. Love hacking careers. During the day I focus on my hobby - Engineering.