You’ve probably picked up on the fact that your CV is important by now. Whether you’ve been job hunting for a while, or are just leaving university, someone will have told you that your CV is everything.
The internet is always coming up with new tools to help people find graduate jobs, such as ICE Recruit (the UK’s only job board that specialises in civil engineering jobs). Graduates and employers are using LinkedIn to assist the graduate recruitment process. So why should you have a profile?
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a social networking for professionals who want to promote their business, work and expertise and network with other businesses. Your profile is essentially an online CV; it has space for previous roles and responsibilities, a portfolio, references, education and more.
Why is LinkedIn good?
A LinkedIn account tells potential employers that you are committed to finding employment and allows you to demonstrate your skills. LinkedIn has a section for recommendations, where previous employers, clients and colleagues can endorse your skills with testimonials. This gives employers a very quick and reliable way to assess you.
It allows you to network, and with a survey conducted in 2010 by the International Business Times finding that over 25% of all external hires were from referrals, making yourself known to the companies with graduate jobs you want could have a big impact upon your chances.
All right, but does it actually work?
Imagine you have found graduate jobs you want on the ICE Recruit job board. You apply with a CV, and in your covering letter mention that more information can be found on your LinkedIn profile.
Every part of your CV is designed to sell you to prospective employers. Having a LinkedIn profile is an extra bonus, and already puts you ahead of the pack, demonstrating a willingness to engage with the professional community.
Not all employers will want to see your references. However, if you have recommendations on your LinkedIn page, it will be hard for potential employers not to read them.
CVs have a limited length - employers usually don’t want more than one page. Once an employer starts reading your LinkedIn page they can find out a lot more about you than they would from a CV.
According to The Telegraph, half of employers have rejected people based upon looking at their Facebook page. If they look at your social pages, it’s likely they’d want to look at your LinkedIn page too.
Don’t forget your CV, though
The best way to use LinkedIn in graduate recruitment is as a supplement to your application: it’s there if potential employers want to look, but don’t assume they will. If something is vital to your application, make sure it’s on your CV.
A LinkedIn profile does for your application what turning up to an interview in a suit and tie does. It makes you look professional and tells people that you are serious about getting the job.