Networking with LinkedIn for Your First Job Search

By Roberto Angulo

LinkedIn is as effective as the number of contacts you have. The larger your number of online connections, the louder your megaphone for letting people know about career and educational updates.

When you’ve established a LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn can help you in two simple ways:

  • Be found. By having a profile with some basic information such as your school and major, you’re likely to be found by recruiters who are looking for entry-level candidates.
  • Tell people you’re looking. LinkedIn allows you to update your headline to announce things to your network. This small and simple action has high impact, because it lets your LinkedIn network know you’re looking for work. And you never know — someone can stumble upon an opportunity that is relevant to you and make you aware of it. Always let your contacts know that you’re exploring opportunities.

People on LinkedIn typically don’t announce that they’re looking for a job, out of fear that their current employer will find out. But in your case, because this is your first job, it’s not an issue. Take advantage and announce your search.

To announce on LinkedIn that you’re looking for a job, update your profile headline and summary. Do this by following these steps:

  1. Go to LinkedIn and make sure you’re logged in.
  2. On the top menu bar, scroll to the right and click Me to bring up a menu bar.
  3. Click View Profile.
  4. Click the pencil icon on the right side of your profile.
    This will bring up an edit screen.
  5. Next to Share Profile Changes, change the switch to Yes.
    This ensures that your contacts will be aware of the updates you’ll make.

 

1stjob-linkedin-headline
Updating your headline and summary on LinkedIn.

Update your headline and summary. For your headline, you can use something along these lines:

Stanford University economics student looking for internship

The headline should be one line; it should describe what you do and what you’re looking for.

Keep the summary to three lines and add some specific skills. Avoid using adjectives like enthusiastic or phrases like eager to learn. These are more fluff than real information. Keep it focused on specific skills and attributes you bring to an employer. A good example of a summary can be something like this:

Majoring in economics at Stanford.

Knowledgeable in Microsoft Excel and SQL, and experienced in developing financial models.

Enjoy working with data to glean insights that help solve business problems.

Pack some specific skills and knowledge in your profile summary so when a recruiter glances at your profile, the summary and headline will catch her eye.