You may have heard of Linkedin, but not sure of what it is, or you may have created a profile but don’t know what to include on it.
First Impressions Count
Linkedin is your personal online brand. It is imperative you make the right first impression, you never know a recruiter may contact you with your dream role! When you apply to a role the first thing an employer will do is have a look at your online presence. This is how to maximise your Linkedin page:
Complete your profile
This may sound obvious, but Linkedin have a handy tool that automatically tells you how complete your profile is. Don’t cut corners here, it will show. Fill out all of the relevant sections, it may seem strange but recruiters are interested in your hobbies, skills and summary.
Choose a great photo
I’d probably steer away from a picture of you and your friends stood on the beach in Magaluf here. You need to find an appropriate image for the industry in which you intend to work in. If you are looking at a career in finance, have a look at what other people in that sector are using and mirror that. The old cliché that a picture can paint a thousand words is a little strong here, but it can go a long way to portraying your personality, professionalism and energy.
Own your headline
A misconception here is that your headline must be your job title. This couldn’t be further from the truth, your headline is your opportunity to highlight what you are about or what you are looking to achieve. Effective use of the headline could be highlighting your USP (Unique Selling Point), what distances you from the competition or what you intend to do.
This should be a short and sharp elevator pitch. Emphasise your skills, achievements and future aspirations here. The use of bullet points can be an effective way of making key information stand out. Use numbers, give context “Highest grade of 200 students at Leeds University”. Always use the first person and be humble, friendly and approachable.
Simply inputting “Sales Administrator” won’t cut it here. Treat your profile like a CV. Bullet points are your friend; you need to elaborate on your duties in the role as well as highlighting anything you achieved within the role. A list for each will give a recruiter a digestible snapshot of the role.
But I don’t have a role what should I do?
Even if you don’t have a role, create a dummy entry into your latest job slot. Input the roles you are looking for, for example “Ambitious Graduate Looking for a role as a Paralegal.” This will help recruiters who are searching for specific job roles find your profile when using keywords.
Add hobbies, volunteering and projects
Did you captain the hockey team at uni? Have you completed a charity trek? Interesting final year project?
Include anything along these lines on your profile. Employers want to see the real you. Anything that can give you an edge over another candidate is always welcomed on your profile.
Open to job opportunities?
Are you looking for a new role? If so, there is a handy option to let people know. Click your picture in the top right > Settings & Privacy > Job Seeking Preferences > Let recruiters know you are open to opportunities > Change to ON
This will not show on your profile but it will alert recruiters as well as making your profile more visible in their search.
This is when you need to decide if you want to openly network with anyone on Linkedin or be specific. For the most effective job search it is recommended to only connect with people or recruiters in your specific field. Ask yourself the question “Can this connection be of benefit to me, or can I benefit them?” If the answer is “Yes” then connect.
An active profile is an attractive one. Don’t be afraid to post. It could be a piece of news you have found interesting that you want to share with your network or new legislation in your field that you could present for discussion. Don’t mistake this for Facebook though, people won’t be that interested what you had for lunch today!
Write an article
This is an opportunity to showcase your written skills learnt at university. This is a further developed post that will remain in a prominent position on your profile page. Much like an essay this can be a referenced backed article on the current state of the industry, interesting developments, or just a different take on a traditional idea.
Get in Groups
Linkedin groups are great tools to aid your job search and to stay engaged within your sector. Groups allow you to directly engage with people within your industry without the need to be connected. Being in the relevant groups will give you a lot of credibility as a job seeker as well as keeping you up to date.
Essentially Linkedin can be used in many beneficial ways, but enjoy it. Get involved in discussion, read articles, write your own, build a network of like-minded individuals. But most importantly build an online brand for yourself.