I get it: College-age students don’t find LinkedIn a “fun” place to hang out. Creating a LinkedIn profile seems like too much work, developing your personal brand is daunting, and there’s little chance you’ll find many in your social network there.
Conclusion: Being on LinkedIn is “too hard” and “boring”!
If you’re like this young graduate in the photo, though, you’re eager to be hired for the kind of work you’ve been dreaming about since you left high school. Plus you’ll soon face the challenge of paying down those college loans.
Let’s debunk 4 Myths that may change your mind about whether it’s worth additional energy to really “be on LinkedIn”.
Myth #1: “My Grades Speak for Themselves, so I’ll Land a Good Job Fast.”
Nearly 4 million students will earn degrees in 2017. That competitive landscape becomes even more interesting when we uncover two additional facts…
- “Recent college graduates” (ages 22-27) consistently have higher unemployment rates in their first few years after college as they slowly transition into the job market.
- Underemployment rates for this same group (“recent college grads”) have hovered for decades between 35%-45% depending on the strength of the economy. So there’s a significant backlog of talent out there eager to shine.
In addition to your current peer group of new graduates, how many of those prior-year grads are out there competing against you now for the job you want and they’re still trying to get? Being easily discovered on LinkedIn for your unique skills and talents can quickly distinguish you from all those other candidates.
Myth #2: “I already have a great resume/CV, so I don’t need LinkedIn.”
This is a common misconception that can really compromise your search efforts.
Recruiters rely on LinkedIn every day to scout talent and fill open positions. It’s probably the first place they’ll go to check you out, even if someone recommended you to a potential employer by submitting a copy of your resume.
The resume simply isn’t enough anymore. A review of your LinkedIn presence provides a more complete view of your skills and the quality of your work in addition to how well you might fit in with an employer’s culture. That review typically leads to a “go/no-go” decision in a heartbeat. On LinkedIn, more than anywhere else, you’ll literally have only a few seconds to make an impression that can open doors or leave you behind.
Why? Because employers shop for talent the same way we shop for cars and TVs – thoroughly vetting everything online first. The data is available at their fingertips through a powerful version of LinkedIn especially designed for recruiters and hiring managers. Employers save time and have greater success finding the right candidates for internships as well as full-time jobs by vetting prospective candidates via LinkedIn. A weak or non-existent LinkedIn profile means you’ll be passed over in favor of other candidates who demonstrate that they’re both tech and business savvy by leveraging their presence on LinkedIn as the preferred platform for human resources and recruiting professionals.
Myth #3: “LinkedIn Won’t Help Me Because None of My Friends Use It”
You’ll have two goals on LinkedIn if you want it to help you: finding connections to help you get introduced to potential employers, and using LinkedIn’s unique features to help you get a job. LinkedIn offers multiple ways to build your career network that won’t rely exclusively on your current friends.
Myth #4: “LinkedIn Is Only for Smart (or Rich) Kids”
Actually, just the opposite is true. A strong LinkedIn presence levels the playing field plusit’s working for you 24/7. And you don’t have to be at the top of your class, either. It’s all about how you present yourself.
If you’re ready to apply all the hard work of your college years in a career role, it’s time to leave these myths behind. Consider LinkedIn as the logical next step that can make it easier for you to:
- Research Potential Employers
- Find New People Who Share Your Career Interests
- Share Your Accomplishments as well as Your Personality
- Quickly Build Influential Networks
- Receive Daily or Weekly Feeds of Job Opportunities that Meet Your Criteria
- Get the Attention of Hiring Managers
- Accelerate Access to Decision-Makers
- Navigate Linkedln’s Features & Functionality
- Stand Out Among Fellow Students on Special Assignments & Semesters Abroad
- Open Doors to Career Opportunities
My simple advice to you is give LinkedIn another look. You just may be pleasantly surprised!