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Having a LinkedIn presence has become essential for many college students and recent graduates looking for employment. Without established professional networks, new entrants to the job market can use LinkedIn as a way to connect with potential employers, network, and collect references.

The U.S. job market has become even more competitive since the COVID-19 pandemic sent unemployment rates skyrocketing. College students and recent graduates in particular may face heavy competition when seeking and interviewing for open positions.

That makes it essential to have a LinkedIn profile that is professional, engaging, and up to date. Give your profile a careful read to make sure you aren’t making these five common LinkedIn mistakes.

  1. No professional headshot. If you want to be seriously considered for a professional job, you need a clean, professional headshot.
  2. Leaving gaps in your employment history or giving unclear employment dates. Potential employers need to clearly see your education and employment history.
  3. Not proofreading for grammatical and spelling errors. Nothing says unprofessional like a typo or grammar mistake. Read your copy carefully to avoid these simple but devastating mistakes.
  4. Not including key words from the job you want. Identify what employers in your field are looking for and include relevant key words and phrases in your profile content.
  5. Leading with irrelevant or supplemental information. When describing your qualifications and employment history, lead with the information that is most relevant to the type of job you want to secure.

RecDiv is the first online job board for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. It connects students with professional resources and with employers who are looking to hire top talent from HBCUs.