College Grads Need Strong LinkedIn Presence

It’s graduation time for millions of college students facing this new reality — they need a job.

The savvy ones have already created a strong LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is the Facebook for professionals and you’d be surprised how many soon-to-be graduates don’t have a presence there. A 2013 survey indicated nearly half of students have never even used Linkedin and the number with strong profiles is certainly a much smaller percentage. It’s a mistake that can be fixed.

Employees search LinkedIn for talent and there are a huge number of jobs posted there. LinkedIn even has a Student Jobs 101 page to offer guidance.

My advice:

  • Begin with a professional photo, not one from the last keg party or of your giant tatoo. Visit here for tips on how to look good in a photo.
  • Don’t try to “spin” your way into an interview. Be honest. There’s no need to hide the fact that you have limited experience. Employers don’t hire college kids for experience. They look for brains, the ability to learn quickly and work ethic. Your LinkedIn profile should reinforce that notion.
  • Have a strong summary. It should explain what you bring to the table. Focus on how you can help an employer.
  • Show proof. What’s in your background that provides evidence you can bring something to the table?
  • Be passionate. Never underestimate the attractiveness of genuine enthusiasm.

For some sound advice on things like keywords, recommendations and connections, visit here.

It can seem overwhelmingly facing the job market for the first time. Take advantage of the help that’s out there.

The writer is a small business owner and longtime adjunct college professor.