94% of recruiters use it to source and vet talent.
Think of LinkedIn as your searchable resume that never sleeps. LinkedIn makes it easy to identify people that you want to build relationships with and maintain ones you already have. Make attempts to build offline relationships with your LinkedIn connections through informational interviews, coffee dates, and networking events. LinkedIn is great for researching careers. Using LinkedIn’s alumni tool, you can explore the career paths of thousands of Ducks. You can also see the degrees and skills they used to get there.
1. Build a Strong Profile
- Use keywords throughout your profile. Many employers search by keyword, so use keywords—technical terms and skills—from your field. Not sure what your best keywords are? Find profiles of people who hold the job you’d like to get and see which keywords they use or look at desired job/internship descriptions.
- Keep it brief! Describe your skills and abilities in short bursts of keyword-rich text. Use bullets to separate information using the WHO method (What you did, How you did it, Outcomes of your work).
For Student Veterans: How Veterans Can Make the Most Out of LinkedIn by Dan Savage, Head of Military and Veterans Programs of LinkedIn. Note the free LinkedIn Premium offer within the article!
- Start with who you know. Classmates, friends, faculty, past-coworkers & supervisors. Once you connect, these become 1st-degree connections.
- Then explore who they know. These are your 2nd-degree connections. Does one of your 1st-degree connections know someone at your dream company, or have a job you’re like to learn more about? Ask your 1st-degree connection for an introduction and an informational interview.
- Tap into the alumni network. Using LinkedIn’s alumni search tool you can see where alumni live, where they work, and what they do. Find people you’re interested in and reach out for informational interviews.
2. Connect with People
3. Connect with Communities
- Join groups. Interested in sustainable business? There’s a group for that. How about food marketing, big data, or social entrepreneurship? There are groups for those, too. Groups give you more messaging options with fellow group members and give you a platform to engage in discussion with professionals. Groups you should join: University of Oregon, Lundquist Alumni Network, and groups relevant to your career goal.
- Follow companies and influencers. Keep up with industry trends and news by keeping track of companies and people who you find interesting or relevant to your career goals.
- Update your status about major projects you’ve completed, articles you’ve read, books you’re reading, and professional successes you’ve had, at least once a week. This lets your professional contacts know what you are doing and serves as a sign of activity for potential employers.
- Continually invite new people to your network. Connect with coworkers, peers, mentors, and more in order to continue to build your LinkedIn network. This leads to more connections to more people which means even more potential opportunities!