Using LinkedIn After Graduation

By Gabriela Paterson | November 16, 2021
Welcome to the post-graduate world. You no longer have classes and homework every day, you’ve said goodbye to pulling all-nighters in the school library, and you maybe even have a 9-5 job lined up. Graduation is a step forward towards being a true professional, but it also means you’re leaving behind an environment in which you were continuously making academic and career connections. Without this constant stream of networking opportunities, it can be easy to get stuck in a professional rut.

LinkedIn is a powerful and easy tool that can be used to develop and create meaningful and productive relationships. It is a platform that makes the working world more accessible to the everyday person by suggesting jobs daily that match a person’s credentials, allowing employers to view potential candidates’ profiles, and setting up networking opportunities. Over 300 million people use LinkedIn, but of this number, only 30 million are recent graduates (or 10%). This is an extremely low number, showing how despite its benefits for workers of all professional levels, graduates vastly overlook the platform.

Networking is one of the primary aspects of LinkedIn that directly benefits graduates as it can make or break your post-grad job search. It is important to create meaningful connections with people in career fields/positions that you are interested in. You can network with people in a field relevant to you, a specific position that you are interested in, or even individuals who work for a company that you like. Often, these connections can actually lead to a job or another career opportunity. Remember to always follow these important connections with a personalized message that demonstrates your interest in the person/company that you are reaching out to. For more specific information on LinkedIn networking etiquette, you can read our blog post here.

However, even if you have already accepted a full-time job for after graduation, LinkedIn still plays an important role in your professional success. Networking as a full-time worker just looks a little different. You can connect with fellow colleagues, which builds stronger professional relationships and in turn, can only benefit the growth of your career. It’s also important to network with other people in your field, as you can share insights on the industry and swap tips that you can use in your workplace, future job searches, and even everyday life.
Remember, knowledge is everything!

It is also essential to consistently keep your professional skills and brand up to date in order to continue to be the best working self you can be. Career health is maintained just like physical health is- by establishing a routine of “exercising” your various skills (muscles) to keep them as strong as possible. LinkedIn offers various opportunities to exercise or even develop new capabilities. For example, they provide free online courses on subjects like time management as well as programs that teach specific “in-demand skills” such as Excel data visualization and learning Python coding that you can pay for through LinkedIn Learning. Once you master these new abilities, you can add them to the ‘skills and endorsement’ section of your profile. The more current and versatile your working expertise is, the better worker you’ll be, the more assignments you can take on, and the broader your professional horizons can be.

In summary, you can succeed in LinkedIn after you graduate by:
Ensuring you have a strong, well-rounded profile
Networking with people in relevant careers/positions/companies
Connecting with colleagues and sharing industry insights
Keeping career skills/brand updated

We wish you the best of luck on your post-graduation journey and look forward to seeing where it takes you. If you are seeking assistance with your LinkedIn profile or need other career advice, please reach out to us at sphcareers@umn.edu or find us at https://www.sph.umn.edu/current/careers/.
We wish you the best!

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