Congratulations! You are soon to be a new college graduate. All that hard work has finally paid off and you are almost ready to join the real world and land that dream job you’ve been hoping for. Exciting right? You have your résumé and your education/experience—what else could you need? Today, it’s also a good idea to have a profile on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. You can build your online résumé, search for jobs and connect with people in a variety of industries. There are even targeted groups that you can join to discuss topics that are of interest to those in your same field of work—and the benefit of this knowledge could even help you grow in your current position. As with all online sites, there are some mistakes you want to avoid making though.

  1. No photo—you want people to remember you, especially if the first interview is over the phone. It’s much harder keeping who’s who straight if you don’t provide a picture on your online profile.
  2. The wrong photo—while your friends are wonderful, a future employer doesn’t need to see them (or your adorable pup) in your professional photo. It’s also best to pick a picture that’s recent.
  3. No summary—this is a spot allotted for you to tell people why you’re the best. Why should someone hire you? If this is all a prospective employer reads, it needs to make the point that you’d be a great asset to their company.

In addition, be sure you’re thorough and include your previous jobs if you have any, and any volunteer work you’ve done. Obviously, a recent graduate may not have much experience, so it’s okay to list several of your volunteer activities—especially if they pertain to your career goals. It also means you can get recommendations for these activities!

Received awards? Add them. This page is all about you—and it’s a free way to market yourself. Be honest, be sincere and be confident.

Don’t forget to join Alumni Groups on LinkedIn. They’re a terrific way to make connections!

 

Good luck!

Jessica M.

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