What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is an online social network designed to link people professionally. LinkedIn allows you to connect with individuals on a professional level, such as current and former colleagues, fellow students, academics, the list is endless.
LinkedIn is your active online CV which allows you to share your skills and experiences with others. It is constantly evolving and easy to update. Whenever you attend a course, undertake work experience or participate in extra-curricular activities, include it on your profile. Employers are keen on finding out how you have evolved and developed during your time in University.
LinkedIn includes a Students and Recent Graduates group designed to provide advice on ways to network your way to a job - visit http://students.linkedin.com/. Jobs for students and recent graduates are published at www.linkedin.com/studentjobs.
Set up your profile:
- Your Photo - use a recent photo that is easily identifiable as you. However, make sure the photo is professional. Use a clear background and avoid selfies. LinkedIn profiles with photos are likely to get more views.
- Your Headline – if you’re still studying you can mention that you are a student, but you can also mention any voluntary work, part-time employment or freelance work you are involved in. Choose key words that help potential recruiters pick you out.
- Your Summary – this is your opportunity to market yourself effectively. Think about the areas of your studies, your achievements, your part-time work and your particular skills that you would want an employer to notice about you. Try to contain your statement to around 100 words.
- Building Your Profile – LinkedIn will remind you of additional areas you might not have completed in your profile. It is worth acting on the prompts to fill in any gaps in your education or work experiences as an uncompleted profile looks unfinished to a potential recruiter. If you currently have a blog post, had an article published in Waterfront or been involved in a start-up enterprise, provide links to these – don’t just say what you done, show what you’ve done.
- Recommendations – seek out recommendations from fellow students, your tutor, current or former colleagues. Recommendations provide creditability to your LinkedIn profile and provide your profile with key words.
- Join Groups and Follow Organisations – join groups relating to sectors where you would like to find work, this can give you a good overview of the current themes and developments applicable to this sector. Follow organisations where you would like to find work experience or pursue a career to get the most up to date information about job posts.
- Use the Student Portal – use the search function to subscribe to job posts or use the ‘LinkedIn Student Portal’ to search for jobs and internships for current students and recent graduates.
- Make sure that there are no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors anywhere in your profile – don’t forget that, as with a CV, this is first impression to a potential recruiter.
- Keep your profile and contacts active so that you show up toward the top of any list of a potential recruiter.
See also our general page on using social media for job hunting.