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LinkedIn's guide to getting ready for graduation

21st April 2015
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If you’re graduating this summer but haven’t got a job lined up yet, don’t worry. LinkedIn’s Darain Faraz shares his top tips for building your network and sussing out your first career move.

Get visible

It’s completely normal to find yourself surfing the net when you’re supposed to be revising, but you could be using your time online to kick-start your career.

As a first step, if you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, get one. Next, show recruiters and potential employers that you’re open for business by stating clearly in your headline and summary that you’re looking for graduate opportunities.

The more complete your profile, the more interesting it will be to others, so take a few minutes to fill in each section to boost your chances of being ‘found’ by one of the 17 million UK professionals on the network. Make sure you include a photo, as makes your profile up to 14 times more likely to be viewed.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any paid experience in your chosen field – few graduates do - include volunteering, academic skills and extracurricular activity to paint a picture of what you have to offer.

Nurture your network

There’s no need to leave it until after graduation to start growing your professional network – students are the biggest growing member group on LinkedIn. Connect with family, friends and contacts from internships and other experience now.

You could even take an hour out of revision to meet up with a contact for coffee – online connections are great, but meeting face-to-face can seal the deal.

Meet a mentor

This may feel like an intimidating time, but you’ll be surprised at how many people are willing to help if you know where to find them. Ask your friends and family to introduce you to a professional with relevant advice to share, or contact your careers department to see if they can put you in touch with alumni who work in a sector you’re interested in.

It’s also easy to find out where people from your university ended up through LinkedIn’s University Pages. Reach out to people in your dream job and ask for some guidance – they’ll have some great advice and tips to share.

Don’t go it alone

As well as the university careers department, your student union and other student media will be bursting with career savvy people who have got guidance for finalists in your position.

You’ll be surprised just how many students in your year are panicking about their next steps as graduation day approaches. Look to these organisations for support and guidance and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Little and often

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to find the perfect job or build a huge network overnight. Just nine minutes a day spent connecting with people or updating your profile on LinkedIn is all it takes to make a real impact on your network.

Darain Faraz is a spokesperson for LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network. For more tips on getting ready for graduation, visit www.linkedin.com




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