Firstly, What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is social networking for professionals. Made for all from new graduates to executive managers, it is a way of exploring career opportunities through networking.
Just like traditional networking which usually occurs at events, LinkedIn is a platform where you can meet other professionals, talk a little bit about yourself and exchange contact information.
Why would you want to use LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is the future for head-hunting. There is no other platform available giving you access to more professionals, and no other platform recruiters visit more. If the idea of job opportunities coming to you, or perhaps the benefits of networking hasn’t sold you to creating a profile, there are an array of other reasons that may.
LinkedIn is like an expanded resume. Just like a traditional CV, LinkedIn allows you to list you past work experience, education, volunteer experience, skills, interests, and contact details. Unlike your CV, it also provides people the opportunity to endorse your skills. This means, somebody else who is part of your network can endorse that you do have these skills, therefore improving a recruiter’s appraisal of you.
LinkedIn ha also allows you to publicise your accomplishments; a modest way of boasting your achievements. You can list publications, certifications, completed courses, projects you are a part of, awards, test scores, languages, organisations, and any patents.
How do I improve my profile?
1. Complete all areas of your profile
Make sure your position is current, you have all parts of your education, location, and skills filled out. Adding skills to your profile increases your profile views by 13x. you can re-arrange your skills and place the most important and relevant ones at the top. Add at least 5 skills to your profile. If you add your industry to your profile, you can get 15x more views. This is because recruiters will search by industry, so it makes you easier to find. Also, it will tailor what content LinkedIn shows to you including relevant jobs, events and articles.
2. Upload a recent and professional photo
A profile with a photo will get far more views than one without. Actually, you are 11x more likely to be viewed. Choose a photo that shows you are confident, successful and trustworthy. The photo should take up about 60% of the frame, and you should be dressed professionally – oh, and smile!
3. List your volunteer work.
Also make sure to include ALL your volunteer work. This form of work is just as important as formal work experience if it is relevant to your industry. For example, many psychology new graduates will not have any experience in mental health but have had various volunteer positions exposing them to children, adolescents, and older people. This just shows how important volunteer work is.
4. Complete a strong summary
A summary is a change for you to get your professional story across. It is just the same as if you were introducing yourself to someone at a networking event. The best summaries include skills, experience, interests, and are over 40 words. It is important to maintain professionalism, whilst also showing recruiters/employers a bit of your personality.
5. Build your network
You can do this by synchronizing your profile with your email address book. Another top tip for this is to join your universities alumni page. This can help you stay linked in with your old peers who can let you know about great job opportunities.
6. Update your headline
Your headline does not have to be your job title. You can use this space to say a little more about your role, what you do, and why you do it. You can make this an inspirational. Make yourself stand out!
7. Join groups
By joining groups you are able to be exposed to and include yourself in relevant conversations. LinkedIn offers a variety of groups to join across many disciplines, sectors, industries, and interests. Any groups you chose to join will be displayed on your profile and show employers/recruiters your strong interest in that area.
8. Personalise your URL
LinkedIn offers the ability to customise your URL. This will enhance your personal brand, and makes it a bit easier for you to give your profile URL to others.
9. Acquire endorsements
Getting endorsements from others substantiates your claims to have certain skills, increasing your credibility. Don’t be afraid to ask for endorsements, because others will be likely to ask you for the same!
10. Blog about your specialties
One of LinkedIn’s strengths is its ability to allow you to publish blog posts onto your profile. It seems logical to use this to the best of your ability as it will increase your credibility and show employers that you really are experienced in your field.
11. Eliminate Typos.
Considering we just covered blog posts, now seems the appropriate time to discuss typos. Eliminate poor grammar, typos, and incorrect spellings. An employer may see this as a weakness, and it may hinder your employability. LinkedIn is like a marketing campaign, but for yourself. Don’t sell yourself short!