Using LinkedIn for students is a must. It is still quite surprising to see that a lot of students and graduates do not really know LinkedIn’s etiquette or how to behave online.

By that I mean how to connect, how to interact, grow your network, and what you should not do.

In the UK, especially in the corporate sector, it is the number one tool for in-house recruiters, agency recruiters and employers. It is easy to use and you can find hundreds of candidates in a very cost effective manner, hence its success.

So, to make the most of it, make sure you follow a few simple steps to become a potential “passive candidate” – the term recruiters use to call candidates they approach online.

 

LinkedIn for students – top tips

How to ask to connect to someone you don’t know yet

You have probably already noticed that you can use the automated option “connect”. High alert here: avoid using it at all costs.

Unfortunately, the mobile or tablet apps do not allow you to tailor your initial message. Use a laptop or computer instead to ensure you can personalise it.

linkedin for students connecting

That “connecting request” is as important as your own profile. Give a good reason why you want to connect. Think of something engaging that will catch their attention.

There is nothing wrong with asking to meet them in person on your initial message, but be prepared to be ignored and to hear a few “no’s”. It is part of the networking process.

On the other hand, avoid making connections for the sake of it. Pick them carefully.

 

Engaging with other groups/connections

It is not always possible or comfortable to connect with strangers via LinkedIn.

If you are the shy type, another way to get new connections is to participate on LinkedIn group discussions that relate to your profession. You will find the right people brought together in one place.

This is an excellent way to network and expand your contacts in a more subtle way.

 

LinkedIn for students: key points to remember:

  • Respect should be a constant on your mind when using LinkedIn – even if someone writes about something you don’t like or disagree with.
  • You are entitled to state your opinion on the matter as long as you respect the opinions of others. This might sound silly, but I have seen it countless times and it is always very uncomfortable to read. This isn’t really something you would like an employer to see.
  • Also, remember: LinkedIn isn’t Facebook. Steer clear of silly pictures or quotes that aren’t relevant, simply do not get involved – meaning: do not “like” it. Even if you personally do like it and is inspiring to you. Please ignore it.
  • Focus your comments or “likes” on things that have some relevance within your field. Remember that your network is watching what you do online.

 

By following this simple steps, you should be able to grow your network and get a step closer to your dream job.

If you want to know more about how LinkedIn can help you, have a look at this great Slideshare by Andrew Kung:

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