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#mysummer - LinkedIn Guide to kick-starting your career

20 July 2015

This article is part of #mysummer which gives young people advice on making the most of the summer holidays to become more employable.

Today #mysummer focuses on how you could be using LinkedIn to connect with employers.

LinkedInOur friends at LinkedIn have shared their top tips to kick-start your career. If you’re leaving school, college or university this summer but haven’t got a job lined up yet, this advice from LinkedIn will help improve your chances.

Think you are too young to join LinkedIn? It’s never too early to start building your network and sussing out your first career move.

Get visible
It’s completely normal to find yourself surfing the net when you’re supposed to be revising, but you could be using your time online to kick-start your career. As a first step, if you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, get one. Next, show recruiters and potential employers that you’re open for business by stating clearly in your headline and summary that you’re looking for employment opportunities. The more complete your profile, the more interesting it will be to others, so take a few minutes to fill in each section to boost your chances of being ‘found’. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any paid experience in your chosen field – few young people do - include volunteering, academic skills and extracurricular activities to paint a picture of what you have to offer.

Nurture your network
There’s no need to leave it until after you leave education to start growing your professional network. Connect with family, friends and contacts from volunteering, work placements, internships and other experience now. You could even take an hour out of revision to meet up with a contact for coffee – online connections are great, but meeting face-to-face can seal the deal.

Meet a mentor
This may feel like an intimidating time, but you’ll be surprised at how many people are willing to help if you know where to find them. Ask your friends and family to introduce you to a professional with relevant advice to share. Definitely use LinkedIn to check out alumni, people who have attended the same school, college or university you went to, particularly if they now work in a sector you’re interested in. Reach out to people in your dream job and ask for some guidance – they’ll have some great advice and tips to share. If you are a graduate it’s easy to find out where people from your university ended up through LinkedIn’s University Pages (

Don’t go it alone
As well as your careers department, other student media and websites will be bursting with career savvy people who have tips and guidance for those in your position. You’ll be surprised just how many students in your year are panicking about their next steps. Look to these organisations for support and guidance and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Little and often
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to find the perfect job or build a huge network overnight. Just 9 minutes a day spent connecting with people or updating your profile on LinkedIn is all it takes to make a real impact on your network.

Check out more LinkedIn tips and videos here

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