For a long time, LinkedIn has been consistently late to the party when it comes to social media innovation. Described as the ‘business and employment oriented’ social media platform, for many its news feed is about as interesting as watching paint dry.

However, no tech company can hope to survive without constant change, and LinkedIn is no different. The social media giant (they claim to have around 500 million users) has recently announced they will be introducing native video (recording video using the LinkedIn app), allowing users to share multiple photos at once to their news feed, and telling you more about who has been reading and sharing your articles. So, it’s set to become a lot more colourful, a lot more bloggy, and a lot more relevant.

Why should I get involved?

Although your career is probably still in its early stages, that doesn’t mean employers won’t expect you to have a professional online presence. You should know by now that you need to tidy up your social accounts ahead of a job search, but you also need to make sure you have evidence of your skills, experience and portfolio online too.

One day soon it’s likely that the CV as we know it will cease to exist, and it pays to be ready! So, here’s three ways to make the most of LinkedIn now:

Polish your profile and grow your network

Take a look at our guide to creating your LinkedIn profile and make sure to fill in your work experience, upload a clear and professional-looking photo and make a few connections.

A good place to start for connections is your fellow students – you never know where you’ll all end up and it could prove very useful to have a connection to the employer of your dreams when it turns out your old classmate got a job there after graduation.

Plus, if you worked together on a course assignment or if you both worked as Student Ambassadors during university, you can ask your classmate to endorse your skills or even write you a recommendation (if their profile is up to date and looking professional) – perhaps by offering to return the favour.

As LinkedIn is still fairly under-utilised as a platform, you have an advantage over your fellow applicants if you really make an effort to be descriptive and interesting when talking about your experience. Don’t be scared to inject a bit of your personality into your writing (but keep it professional); it should make you stand out from the hordes of empty profiles out there. Try searching for ‘best LinkedIn profiles’ for some inspiration.

Search for jobs

If you’re looking for work, get the LinkedIn app, it’ll make it much easier to use the search feature to find part time, internship or graduate roles.

Once you have the app, search for phrases like ‘looking for graduate engineer’ or ‘graduate web opportunity’ etc. then select ‘Jobs’ to see the results from all of the jobs posted to LinkedIn that contain your phrase. When you have your results, you can use the filters to narrow them down to your desired location and date of posting – and apply!

Publish an article

LinkedIn has an article-sharing feature that is widely used by the most popular profiles on the platform. It’s not just for business leaders with tons of experience though, anyone can write an article, and if you do and you give it a nice image and a clear structure, your profile will instantly be lifted head and shoulders above your fellow applicants when looking for roles – especially if you’re thinking about a marketing or PR career.

If you fancy dipping a toe into article writing, your positive experiences at University would be a good place to start.

Hopefully that’s given you a few ideas to start you off. LinkedIn is a powerful tool for students and graduates and there really is no excuse not to have a profile. Even if you’ve never worked before, set yourself up, say a few things about your skills in your summary and get ready for your first role!