Jobs are important. Very important. Especially as current college students, where basically the sole purpose is to train us in preparation for jobs. Here at the Villanova School of Business, we are constantly told that 99.7% of students within six months of graduation have a steady job with an average starting salary of $55,000. 99.7% of students. Starting salary of $55,000.
I wonder what it must feel like to be the 0.3%.
LinkedIn is a great way to prevent this from happening. I recently attended a professional development event on this “Facebook for businesses.” I didn’t really know what to expect when I got there, but I left with a wealth of new insight. Here are some quick facts for you:
1. There are 250 million professionals on LinkedIn
2. 90 thousand of those professionals are Villanova alumni
3. 75% of job recruiters use social media as part of the hiring process
4. 94% of those recruiters use LinkedIn
Basically, LinkedIn helps you build your professional presence online, connect with friends, co-workers, alumni, and new people, research companies and industries, and search for jobs in a way that includes people you already know. It truly is the ultimate social media for business professionals. And the best part? It’s free.
When creating a LinkedIn profile, it is important to retain a professional air. That being said, you don’t want to be stiff. It is important to put your best foot forward and show off a little personality, so that potential employers will be impressed by your accomplishments and have an idea of the type of person you are. To create your profile, you should:
1. Pick a professional photo of you alone- no future employee wants to see you plus all of your friends at a party. For example:
2. Add a headline with your current title or position- don’t be afraid to customize it in order to reflect your career ambitions. As a student, it is fine to make you position “Villanova School of Business Undergraduate”
3. Create a keyword rich summary that includes language that will draw future employers/recruiters should they search for specific attributes
4. List groups that represent your affiliations and professional interests- who knows! Maybe you’ll connect with someone you once played intramural tennis with!
Networking is key on LinkedIn. The whole point is to make connections with people who could help your career. When sending messages to people with whom you would like to connect, it is important to personalize your message. Otherwise, the recipient will most likely ignore your request. Introduce yourself, and explain why you would like to connect them. It is also important to include your email, since it is a reliable way of contact.
LinkedIn is a form of social media that is becoming more and more essential in the future of employment. It is easier for recruiters to search for keywords on LinkedIn than to sift through applications. Having a well planned LinkedIn account will make you stand out to future employers, making it much more likely that you will get a job. It would be a pity to not take advantage of this opportunity. Don’t be part of the 0.3%.