Given the spike in competitiveness on the current job market, it is all the more important for graduating college seniors to leverage LinkedIn during their job search as much as they can. 


As much as 85% of jobs are filled through networking, and 70% of jobs are never even published publicly – these jobs are either posted internally or created specifically for candidates that recruiters meet through networking.


So why network through LinkedIn specifically? The platform is known as the most beneficial social tool available to professionals today because it’s the largest of its kind and specially designed for networking and career growth. An average of three people are hired on LinkedIn every minute.


Additionally, you can use LinkedIn’s features to find countless job and internship postings, strengthen professional relationships and build upon the skills you need to succeed in your career. 


But trying to figure out the right people to network with on LinkedIn and finding the right words to say can be overwhelming and complicated. We’ve broken it down into three common tactics for fool-proof LinkedIn networking:

Reach Out to Alumni

The most effective method to network is by reaching out to alumni from your school who work or have worked at your companies of interest. 


Alumni feel connected to fellow students, and they are usually more than happy to help you out by giving you information about their career path and the company they work for. Sometimes, they are even willing to pass along your resume to an HR manager and put in a good word for you.


In a case where there are multiple alumni you can reach out to, it’s best to choose a professional with a position that you’re aiming for and with similar interests as you. A younger alum – someone who graduated not long before you – likely remembers exactly what it’s like to be in your shoes and would be a particularly beneficial person to network with.


The most effective way to message an alum is by including the phrase: “help out a graduating senior“ in the title or body of the message. This will grab their attention effectively. Then, ask for 15-20 minutes of their time over Zoom or over coffee and prepare a list of questions about the company and how they’ve gotten to where they are. 


This can give you a much closer insight into what it’s like to work for that company, if it’s a position you’d be interested in and what the application and interview process is like.



Reach Out to Hiring Managers


Before applying for a job, you can reach out to a hiring manager or recruiter to ask for more insight on the company culture or to determine if there are any potential opportunities that haven’t been posted online. 


Asking any of your alumni connections at a company if they can refer you to the hiring manager is even more effective. Employee referrals are always helpful.


Additionally, sending a quick connection request with a message to a hiring manager on LinkedIn after applying for the job can also be highly effective; it shows that you are truly interested since you have already submitted the application. Reiterate your interest, state that you would love to discuss the opportunity with them further and mention one or two of your key qualifications. This encourages them to pay closer attention to your application and can only boost your chances of landing an interview. 



Find Connections with Others


If you are interested in a company without any alumni from your school, you can try to find other common ground with a younger employee. 


Even if an employee a few years out of college did not graduate from your school specifically, they can still empathize with the stress of the senior year job search process and will likely still be willing to speak with you.


As a whole, the more you can connect with them, the better – maybe it’s a younger employee from your home state, or maybe they interned at the same company as you did a few years ago. The more you are able to find commonalities, the more helpful they will likely be. 


In conclusion, the more connections you can make and the more people you speak with at a company for advice, the better your chances are of being hired. You will be more well informed about whether you truly want to work at the company and your name will also be floating around, potentially making its way to a hiring manager.



Contact the Brand Studio for Help


If your company needs help establishing a presence on LinkedIn, contact 1893 Brand Studio. Our Storytelling Team can provide more information on how to craft impactful messages on LinkedIn that will result in meaningful conversations. 

Article written by Anna Southwell with art designed by Lucy Froelich