https://www.linkedin.com/learning/The message to the class of 2019 college graduates is this: Kudos on your achievement, your flexible outlook on your career and your desire to pursue your passions. And now get started polishing your resume and LinkedIn profile and remember to keep learning.
At least that's the theme of a report titled "The 2019 LinkedIn Grads Guide to Getting Hired," published today by LinkedIn. It reads:
Today's grads are savvy. They know they're entering into a workforce different from their parents'. They're drawn to technology roles and companies, and are investing in learning the technical skills critical to jobs of the future.
The report goes on to say that even the savviest grads are looking for advice about diving into the workforce.
If you're a recent grad, what are you to do now? LinkedIn advises two big things, and I've added a third:
1. Complete your LinkedIn profile and resume.
New hires tend to peak in May and continue throughout the summer, says LinkedIn. So make sure your LinkedIn profile and resume are ready to go right now.
Don't worry that, perhaps aside from some internships, you don't have much experience yet. You have your entire career ahead of you, and you'll have tons of real-world accomplishments and job titles to add to it. No need to embellish now. Keep it simple. The same goes for your resume.
For example, resist the temptation to overstate your responsibilities and accomplishments in jobs you have held during college. Don't hide that you are young and new. Explain what you learned and what you are eager to learn and contribute.
The report also advises you to update your career interests, so that recruiters can reach out with the right opportunities. I think that's a smart thing to do. Again, it's all about making it clear what you want.
2. Learn a new skill.
You might be out of college, but learning is a career-long and lifelong endeavor. If you see a job you'd like but don't have all the necessary skills, learn them.
LinkedIn's report lists some of the most in-demand skills and notes a surge in skills related to data science and artificial intelligence. I'm a Gen Xer, so I didn't even recognize one of these skills. Python? Anyone?
The report notes that a good way to learn new skills is -- no surprise -- through LinkedIn Learning online courses. I've taken one of those courses, and enjoyed it. They're certainly not your only options. Others include taking other online courses or a class at your local community college. Some professional and networking groups also offer workshops.
3. Make time to network.
I promised an idea of my own, and here it is: Network. You won't find a job sitting behind your laptop or sending out resumes blindly. Nearly all of my past jobs and current clients have come from the face-to-face time I've put in and the relationships I've built.
Join a professional group, particularly one that corresponds to your area of study and desired profession. Some groups, including the Public Relations Society of America, to which I belong, offer discounted membership rates for professionals just starting out.
It can be hard and intimidating to work a large room of professionals. That's normal. Your goal at each meeting should be to be to talk with a handful of people and ask about meeting up later for coffee. Afterward, follow up to set a time for those one-to-one meetings. Many of those people are busy, and they'll need you to be the one to plan that meeting.
Most people are more than happy to help out those entering the workforce. It's how those of us who have been at it for 20-plus years pay it forward. One day, that's going to be you, too.