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LinkedIn is helping soon-to-be grads from around the country tap into their professional community—whether they realize they have one already or not.

Trying to land your dream career out of the gate is a tall order. But here's the good news: There are roughly 11 million job openings (pdf) per month in America at any given time. Sure, you don't want all those jobs, but you want some of them—and some of them want you!

LinkedIn connects qualified candidates with companies and organizations that crave top talent. With these tips, you'll be well on your way to snagging a seat at the professional table before graduation.

Why LinkedIn?

  • 80 percent of LinkedIn members consider professional networking to be important to new job opportunities and career success, according to LinkedIn research (pdf).
  • 70 percent of people were hired at a company where they had a connection
  • More than 20 million professionals including recruiters, hiring managers, and decision makers use LinkedIn every week.

With more than 530 million professionals in the LinkedIn community, there is no other place where you can access such a wide range of knowledge, skills, and resources to help you reach your goals.

The LinkedIn Career Interface

The LinkedIn Career Interface

Let LinkedIn Do the Work for You

Searching for careers can seem like a daunting task. More than a quarter of professionals say they have no time to search for new job opportunities.

But worry not. With search alerts you can get notifications and updates to a saved search via e-mail or shared with you on LinkedIn. Use advanced search filters to narrow down opportunities by industry, location, experience level, and more. Once your filtered search is set, simply create the alert.

Let recruiters know you're open to new opportunities by simply flipping a switch on your LinkedIn profile. It's called Open Candidates, and yes, it's that easy. Open Candidates is accessible from the Preferences tab on the LinkedIn Jobs homepage.

Don't forget to update your career interests. This helps you appear in the search results that recruiters are regularly scouring. Additionally, this helps inform the daily job recommendations LinkedIn sends you and surfaces on the jobs homepage.

Discover Your Earning Potential

LinkedIn Salary has tapped into its network of more than 530 million members to give you deep salary insights into the compensation landscape. You can also dig deeper into compensation insights about specific companies you're interested in, so when the time comes to talk money, you're ready.

This tool includes average salary, bonus, and equity data for specific job titles, and the different factors that impact pay such as years of experience, industry, company size, location, and education level.

 The salary information shared on job listings comes from one of two places:

  1. Employer Provided: Employers can provide salary ranges for specific jobs, meaning you will know exactly what kind of compensation to expect before you apply for the job.
  2. Estimated Salary: If an employer does not provide a salary for a role, LinkedIn shows an estimated range from member-submitted data.

Are You a Match for Your Dream Job?

With "How You Match," LinkedIn analyzes if you're a good fit for a position. Utilizing your education level, skills, years of experience, and current job title, you can see where you align, and where you may fall short. If you do fall short, not to worry, LinkedIn has many features to help you gain skills in the respected industry (see further below) for how.

The LinkedIn Alumni Tool Interface

The LinkedIn Alumni Tool Interface

Connect With Alumni

One of the easiest ways for students and alumni to make connections is through the LinkedIn Alumni tool. It's an easy way to explore your alumni network for people who graduated from your same school, where they work now, and in what cities. Simply search for your school and select "see alumni" to get started. You can access career paths for more than 23,000 colleges and universities worldwide.

The LinkedIn Profinder Interface

The LinkedIn Profinder Interface

Entrepreneur? Create Your Own Job—Become a Freelancer

  • Nearly 20 percent of freelancers confirmed they'll make six figures or more this year with their freelance work, according to LinkedIn.
  • More than half of freelancers confirmed that they will never return to more traditional, full-time employment.
  • 80 percent of freelancers do not actually have any concern about their freelance work being replaced by technology, artificial intelligence, or automation in the next 10 to 20 years.

LinkedIn ProFinder started as an idea that has grown into a vibrant marketplace being used by more than 70,000 freelance professionals across the nation. LinkedIn has seen client demand surge with weekly requests for proposals growing more than fivefold in one year.

Seek Career Advice from Others

  • More than 80 percent of professionals on LinkedIn have stated they either want to have a mentor or be one to others.
  • More than half don't know where to begin, and more than one-third have a hard time finding the right person.

LinkedIn launched Career Advice, a new feature that helps connect members across the LinkedIn network with one another for lightweight mentorship opportunities. Whether you need advice on your career path, switching to a new industry or best practices for a project you're working on, Career Advice can help you find and connect with the right person who can help.

Learn the Skills Needed for Your Next Gig

  • One-third of job-seekers have expressed concern that they don't have the necessary skills to be competitive in the job market.
  • Many people who are looking for work from home jobs use LinkedIn Learning to gain the skills needed to be an ideal candidate for remote work.

With LinkedIn Learning, you can now access a gigantic database of online courses on topics from coding and graphic design to public speaking. And here's the best part: Each course is typically sliced up into very manageable five- to 10-minute learning chunks. Learning a new skill over the course of a week quickly becomes very achievable.

What Now? Get Started

Create or update your LinkedIn profile today. This provides other LinkedIn members with a better understanding of the unique skills, interests, and experience that make you—you. Make sure to join the Magner Career Center Professional Networking Group.

  • Make sure you have a profile photo—it will help get you recognized and connect to potential opportunities. Members with a profile photo receive up to 21 times more profile views and nine times more connection requests.
  • Members with current positions are discovered up to 16 times more in recruiter searches.
  • Members with more than five skills are 27 times more likely to be discovered in searches by recruiters.
  • Including the city where you are based makes you stand out up to 23 times in searches.

Bonus: Check out Résumé Assistant, a new integration from Microsoft and LinkedIn that acts as a résumé generator and helps you craft a compelling document directly within Microsoft Word.

The LinkedIn New Jobs Interface

The LinkedIn New Jobs Interface

Roadblock in Your Job Search? Use the New Jobs Feature on LinkedIn

Have you spent hours, days, or even weeks scrolling through hundreds of job listings trying to identify the "perfect job title" that fits your interests? You're not alone. One of the biggest challenges job seekers have is knowing what types of jobs to search for in their job search, or even which jobs exist.

LinkedIn heard you, and as a result launched new job pages designed with the job seeker in mind. Now, job seekers and students who are unfamiliar with the professional landscape can browse job titles within various job functions (e.g. education jobs, human resources jobs, legal jobs, marketing jobs, or entry level accounting jobs). LinkedIn searches popular job titles and listings, as well as top cities and companies for a particular job, making it easier for job seekers and exploring students to learn more about opportunities in various fields.

Finding a job has never been easier! 

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