Is your LinkedIn profile complete? A recent Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey indicated 93% of recruiters tap into LinkedIn to find qualified talent. LinkedIn research states that a complete profile makes you 40 times more effective in all your efforts on LinkedIn. It boosts your SEO ensuring you’ll rank higher on searches. Yet many LinkedIn users put themselves at a disadvantage with incomplete profiles.
Weak job placement numbers for graduates have caused career centers to reevaluate the tools they arm students with. Traditional resumes are not going to do it anymore. Leveraging LinkedIn, in this age of social recruiting, is what will help you achieve your job placement goals. Networking on social media platforms is where savvy students are forging connections, showcasing their talents and securing opportunities
How do you support your students to best optimize their efforts on LinkedIn?
- Walk the talk. Effective leaders state the most important trait they exhibit is to walk the talk; “watch what I do, not what I say.” Career Professionals understand the value of LinkedIn, but are you leading by example? First, complete your profile: Create a compelling, keyword rich headline, upload a photo, and write a Summary statement. You will see prompts for the elements you’re missing. This will serve as an example of the “right” way to harness the power of LinkedIn and it will help you, and your school, gain attention from recruiters, hiring managers and companies that would benefit your students.
- Understand that LinkedIn is not a digital resume, but a marketing tool. LinkedIn is a platform to increase your online visibility and build your professional brand. Branding is what people think of, when they think of you. Identify the keywords that speak to your audience; define what you do and how you help. Recruiters search for job candidates by keywords, even using software that refines and searches by keywords. Not understanding the significance of keywords and branding directly impacts your students’ ability to be found.
- Have hands-on workshops where they learn how to effectively reach out to recruiters. Students often tell me they know who they want to reach out to, but they don’t know how to do so. Teach them the proper LinkedIn etiquette of how to message people they don’t know. Provide them with examples of InMails that generate responses. Explain how to request introductions to recruiters and how to first gain their attention. It’s not enough to tell them what they need to do—you must provide concrete evidence of what works, and what doesn’t.
It’s not a matter of if you’re going to use LinkedIn to help students find internships and jobs, but how well will you do it? Look to yourself and decide if you’re answering that question first before you proceed to support your students.