Every college student knows that once commencement is over, it’s time to spruce up your resume, put on your best suit of armor, and join the ongoing battle against job seekers vying for positions in your field.
Despite the fact that you won’t end up using a sword, today’s job market truly is a battleground. You will fight to triumph over hundreds of candidates competing for positions that, for some, are a final hope in conquering the evils of student loan debt and living on an air mattress eating Maruchan beef ramen noodles.
A well-crafted resume has always been the traditional weapon of choice, but you may want to bring your job search into the 21st Century by using social networks like Linkedin.
LinkedIn and Your Social Media Job Search
According to Miriam Salpeter, owner of Keppie Careers, “LinkedIn is the best designated professional network and the first social network job seekers should consider using to find opportunities.” This is supported by an infographic recently released by CareerEnlightenment.com and published in Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies (displayed below).
CareerEnlightenment.com’s survey showed that 1 in 5 employers are using social networking sites to research potential candidates. It also revealed that 56% of hiring managers/recruiters have hired someone via social media and, of the companies using social media as a recruitment tool, 80% are finding talent on LinkedIn.com.
That being said, less than 11% of job seekers include a social media link on their resume and many college graduates just made a LinkedIn account because someone “told them to.” I encourage recent graduates to get ahead of the competition and make their LinkedIn profiles recruiter-friendly with the following tips:
- Use a title with industry keywords or an engaging headline (This will help raise your profile’s prominence in searches)
- Identify your metropolitan area (Recruiters often search by metro area / zip code)
- Professionals want to see a professional-looking profile photo (You don’t have to hire a photographer, but a business casual head shot goes a long way)
- Get your profile to 100% completion (Profiles that are 100% complete are 40x more likely to get found in a LinkedIn recruiter search)
- Join at least 10 LinkedIn Groups that cater to your university alumni, professional organizations, and professionals in your industry (Groups feature job posts only visible to members and you can join up to 50!)
- Start making valuable connections with local and group professionals in your desired field or those who work for your target company (People with more than 20 connections are 34x more likely to be approached with a job opportunity than people with less than 5)
- Try jump starting your job search with LinkedIn’s Student Portal
- Stand out from 89% of the competition by including a link to your LinkedIn profile on your paper resume