Many entry-level employees deny themselves access to powerful tools such as LinkedIn considering they don’t have the right work experience to be there. This is the usual scenario: new graduates or people looking for their first job sign up for LinkedIn, connect to several acquaintances from school, and feel overwhelmed with the large number of connections and the outstanding profiles that other people display. Conclusion – this is not a place for me!
There is nothing more false; the largest professional network in the world welcomes beginners and provides amazing opportunities for all professionals, regardless of their level of experience!
Here’s why you should join LinkedIn and make the most from it:
Completing your LinkedIn profile takes time, but it’s definitely worth it!
Most entry-level professionals dread the idea of writing their resumes, because they have little work experience, and are afraid the same thing will happen on LinkedIn, too. You should keep in mind, though, that LinkedIn is different from a resume writing tool, and your LinkedIn profile is a lot more than a resume. You can upload files such as images, videos, and presentations to highlight your past achievements and there are plenty of options for describing your academic experience (grades, activities, and societies you have been a member of).
It’s also recommended, depending on your industry, to use LinkedIn’s article writing platform – this will definitely make your profile stand out from the crowd.
LinkedIn’s portal for students and recent graduates
LinkedIn allows you to search for thousands of student internships and jobs for graduates through this service launched in 2011. This is an excellent opportunity for entry-level candidates who have often been rejected because of their lack of experience – in this case, no employer can consider you unsuitable, since they have specifically posted their job advertisement on a dedicated platform for students.
Getting endorsements from other LinkedIn users
LinkedIn enables you to list your skills and receive endorsements from other people – they can be school mates, people you have met during internships or volunteering projects, or teachers. Not having the work experience doesn’t mean you don’t have the skills either; on LinkedIn you can highlight your abilities even if they are not related to previous jobs.
Potential employers look up your LinkedIn profile
People interviewing for their first job often lack the confidence of a more experienced professional and may find it difficult to showcase their qualifications during a job interview without having some past work experience supporting their claims. Aside from getting prepared for job interviews, you should invest time and effort into creating a powerful LinkedIn profile – it will compensate for your lack of experience and tell about you everything you might overlook during the interview. And, even if you don’t provide your LinkedIn profile link with your job application, many recruiters type your name in the search box and try to find out more information about you.
LinkedIn is a great networking tool!
LinkedIn enables you to connect with like-minded individuals and get to know people even if you have never met them face to face or you don’t have time to create connections offline. Some pieces of advice on networking on LinkedIn include having a complete profile, uploading you address book from your email account, joining LinkedIn Groups, helping others by sharing job listings or answering to questions, and updating your status regularly.
How’s your LinkedIn profile going? Become more confident and don’t hesitate to highlight your assets!