How to Network and Use LinkedIn to Find a Job 2021 (New Grad)

Part 3 of a New Graduate’s Guide to Becoming a Data/Business Analyst


Using LinkedIn — How to make your profile
Post on LinkedIn, a lot.
Use your alumni network
Informational interviews and how to do them effectively

Use LinkedIn

This is one of the pieces of advice that any half-decent article about finding a job includes, but I cannot emphasize it enough: Use LinkedIn.

  • Even if your name is John Smith, the first thing an employer or networking contact will do upon receipt of your application or message is to search for you on LinkedIn. How do I know this? Most of the people I spoke with in my initial HR screenings casually brought up my LinkedIn profile.

Okay, so what is LinkedIn?

If you’re a newbie like I was and only have a LinkedIn because some authority figure told you to make one once upon a time, it’s time to learn.

  1. For the About section, come up with a couple of fun, short paragraphs describing who you are and what key skills and aspects of your personality you want to highlight to potential employers.
  2. For the tagline, just write something short and descriptive that mentions you’re looking for a job and roughly what kind of job. During my job search, it was: Computer Science New Graduate Seeking Data Science/Analyst Position in NYC or Remote
  3. Make sure to fill out your Skills and Projects section. The more complete your profile is, the more likely you’ll attract the attention of a recruiter.
    And… you’re done!
  • Update your LinkedIn with projects as you make them.

How can I use LinkedIn to help me find a job?

Now that you’ve got your shiny new LinkedIn page, you’re ready to use your network.

  • A second degree connection is someone who is connected to someone connected to you.

Posting on LinkedIn

A great way to passively connect with second degree connections is to post frequently on LinkedIn.

Upon applying for a job, ask for a referral or informational interview

When I found a job I was interested in applying for, the first thing I did was to search for the company on LinkedIn. I went to their People tab and looked for people who I had a first degree connection to.
If I found a first degree connection, bingo! I would reach out to them with a request for a chat with the hopes of getting a referral, or if I knew them pretty well, just a friendly note telling them that I was applying for a job at their company with a request for a referral.
If I found a second degree connection, I would apply for the job and then ask my first degree connection to connect me to them so I could set up an informational interview or simply reach out directly to them with a note saying why I was interested in connecting with them.

Expand your network

I scheduled a bunch of informational interviews with data analysts and data scientists. But how did I find them? I searched for alumni with relevant job titles, like Data Analyst or Data Scientist, on a college alumni resource and then connected with them on LinkedIn.

Informational Interviews

So I’ve talked a lot about informational interviews, but what are they and why are they so important?

What do I get out it?

  • You gain a valuable connection, who may now or in the future help you get a job.
  • You learn something, hopefully new, about the field and/or kind of job that you are applying for.
  • You get real-life experience answering the ever-present interview question, “Tell me about yourself” in a low-pressure environment.

What is the interviewee getting out of it?

First of all, the person you’re interviewing, maybe an alum of your college who is currently a Data Scientist, feels flattered that you are seeking out their knowledge and advice.

What do I ask them?

Here are some good, basic questions you can ask of almost any of your connections:

  • If they have a Ph.D. and you’re considering graduate school in the near or distant future, ask them what it was like and how it impacts their work today.
  • If they live somewhere cool that you’d like to live in or travel to someday, feel free to ask them about it.

Best practices

Actively listen and act genuinely interested in what they have to say. Enthusiasm from your end goes a very long way into making the informational interview a success. If your network connection can tell that you genuinely care about what they are saying, they will like you.

A New Graduate’s Guide to Becoming a Data/Business Analyst

Part 1: How to Become a Business Analyst 2021
Part 2: Skills and Projects You Need to Get a Data/Business Analyst Position
Part 3: How to Network and Use LinkedIn to Find a Job
Part 4: How to Use Professional Groups to Find a Business Analyst Job 2021
Part 5: How to Keep Your Sanity During Your Job Search

Recent college graduate with endless curiosity about the world and her place in it. Also likes computers. Check me outat DM me @elianasquared.

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