LinkedIn is home to endless recruiters, employers, managers, students – it’s THE site to be on when trying to build a career. Having said that, it’s important to make sure you stand out in such a vast crowd, and make sure your online profile truly represents everything you have to offer.
Here’s some tips on making the best impression possible.
It’s important to make sure all sections of your page are complete, and filled with plenty of relevant information. LinkedIn is your online CV – highlight what you’re proud of.
Add in grades achieved at school, college and university, and details of any part-time work alongside your studies. Employers are likely to be unimpressed if your application highlights your organisational skills, but your LinkedIn profile is lacklustre and left unfinished!
A top tip is that all experience is useful experience, so try not to leave out any voluntary or hospitality work. As your career grows and flourishes, you can start to be more selective when it comes to what you include in your work history. But, for now, that stint you spent working in your local cocktail bar is the perfect example of your ability to work under pressure within a team.
Remember to think about the image you are trying to portray. LinkedIn is a business network, and its purpose isn’t the same as other social media, like Twitter and Facebook.
It’s best to choose a photo which matches your brand: think professional, smiley, and normally a head-shot with a clear background. Selfies must be approached with caution! Try and wear a smart shirt in your photo as well – try to depict the sort of individual employers could imagine in their own office…
And no group photos; if you choose a photo of you and your mates, an employer may struggle to know which one is you!
Your headline is the job title line beneath your photo and name, and also next to your name in search results.
This needs to be something which makes you stand out and catches a user’s attention. After your name and photograph, this is the first thing any potential employer will see. Make sure it’s concise and encompasses what you’re about and what you have to offer.
This is your main opportunity to entice someone to click on to your profile further and see all of your information, so make it short and snappy.
This is your way to keep prospective employers up to date and impress them with all the things your doing.
Make sure to regularly add in your work experience, any promotions, and also grades you achieve at university. As soon as you finish a work placement, write out everything you achieved during your time there, and upload it to your LinkedIn profile ASAP.
Also, make sure your contact details, such as an email address, are up-to-date so that any connection can reach out to you with ease.
LinkedIn has many sections and subsections, all designed for you to create the best profile – utilise these!
Add in links to any articles, blogs or videos you may have featured in or created. Also, highlight any desirable skills such as languages or awards you have attained. Include ANYTHING that makes you stand out from other profiles and candidates.
A great element of LinkedIn is the newsfeed area in which other users and yourself can post updates. Engage with these: like and comment and start conversations, just like you would network at an actual event.
From this, you could even make posts of your own. This could be links and comments on news stories. It’s important to show your personality and that you are informed and have a genuine insight into the sector you wish to work in.
This really is the same as your CV. Look out for any spelling errors and issues with grammar. This is the first impression you’re giving out so make sure it’s a strong, professional and employable one!
Curate your profile and avoid any ‘waffle’! If you’ve had varied work experience, then definitely include it all, but emphasise how this is relevant to your intended career.
Highlight any achievements, transferable skills, and how this helped shape your current interests. It’s best to keep everything in bullet points, making it an easy read for interested employers.
LinkedIn is essentially a search engine for employers, and you want to make sure that your profile in particular can be found easily.
Think about terms which recruiters are likely to search, and include them in your profile and summary areas – for example, “LPC Student”, “Trainee Solicitor”, “University of Bristol Law” etc.
Add contacts and build a network – this is the main purpose of LinkedIn. However, it’s important to retain quality over quantity.
Connect with alumni and peers from university and also any firms you may have heard of and have an interest in. The ‘people you may know’ feature is also vital, and may uncover opportunities nearby you had never even considered.
If you’re applying to connect with someone you’ve only met briefly, or perhaps never met officially, make sure to include a small note about who you are and why you’re requesting to connect with them. This is far more likely to result in a successful connections than just a cold invite out of no where.
LinkedIn is a great tool and when used correctly it can open many doors. Remember to have fun creating the best profile possible and taking those first steps into the world of networking!
Published: 28/03/18 Author: Lauren Howard
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