Looking for a professional job when you've never had one before can feel especially overwhelming. That's why recent college graduates will want to use every available tool to their advantage, starting with their LinkedIn profile.
According to LinkedIn career expert Blair Decembrele, there are roughly 20 million available jobs on the platform right now, and a new hire is made every eight seconds. "That means there's a lot of opportunity out there right now," she tells CNBC Make It. "For recent grads, you really want to stop and think about what you're in it for, and what you want your career goals to be."
Below, Decembrele breaks down three LinkedIn common profile mistakes that can easily hurt a new grad's chances of getting hired:
Your LinkedIn profile, Decembrele says, is equivalent to "your first impression in the professional world," so it's important that you don't leave out basic information that gives an employer context for who you are. This includes an appropriate profile picture, your school name, your major and details about any clubs or volunteer opportunities you participated in.
"Professionals who list the schools they went to get 10 times more views that those who don't," says Decembrele. "Additionally, profiles with a photo get 21 times more views than those that don't."
She warns, however, that a bad photo can be just as harmful as no photo at all. "If you're a cat lover, it's not the place to share your cat photo," she says. "Really make sure you choose a photo that is clear, concise and has professional context — so I even recommend standing in front of a white background and making sure that you're the center point of the photo."
In addition to outlining your internship and volunteer experiences, Decembrele says it's important not to overlook the value of a detailed summary explaining their background and goals.
"Think of it as your elevator pitch," she says. "There are places in your profile where you can flesh out your experiences and describe what you do. But, the summary is a great opportunity to describe the type of role you're looking for and who you are as a well-rounded professional."
She recommends using 40 words or more in your summary to help increase your odds of showing up in searches.
You can set up your LinkedIn profile to make it exceptionally clear that you're looking for a job. "It kind of starts the job search without you actually having to search for a job," Decembrele says.
To set up this feature, click on "Settings & Privacy" and scroll to Job seeking preferences. Select "yes" under "Let recruiters know you're open to opportunities." This will let recruiters see your location, previous job titles experience and the type of work you're looking for, so they can reach out to you with opportunities.
"This also feeds into [LinkedIn's] job recommendations," says Decembrele. "The more we know about what you're looking for, the more we're able to personalize those recommendations and bring the right job to you."
Looking for a job can be stressful. But Decemebrele recommends that recent graduates "keep it simple" and emphasize the unique experiences they bring to the table.
"Be really crystal clear," she says. "You don't need to add a lot of jargon to your profile."
Like this story? Subscribe to CNBC Make It on YouTube!