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The LinkedIn profile updates you should make today

Often referred to as ‘Facebook for business’, LinkedIn is so much more than that. According to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends Report 2017, 40% of those companies surveyed said that they use social professional networks to find new hires. There are over 40 million students and recent graduates on LinkedIn so it’s more important than ever to have a high-quality profile. Here are five essentials to include that will help you stand out from the crowd…

Photo

Adding a photo is your first step. According to LinkedIn, your profile is 14-21 times more likely to be viewed if you have one! Ensure that the picture you use is just of you and ideally, a professional looking one as it enhances your personal brand.  A photo adds legitimacy and shows your profile is real.

Keywords

Companies can search for employees through keywords. This can include the subject you studied and user groups where you’re a member. Research job descriptions for your ideal roles, and see what skills you have that match the essential criteria and include it. Be prepared to be tested on these at the interview stage!

Headline

The headline section needs to be a clear description of exactly who you are and what you can offer a new employer. Include keywords to push yourself higher in their search results; using around 5 keywords will increase the chances of employers finding you. Do the exercise of looking up keywords that appear in job roles by using this free keyword tool http://keywordtool.io/.

Summary

This is your chance to catch an employer’s attention quickly, so write your summary in the style of an elevator pitch. The first few lines should really capture their attention, so have a look at what other alumni are writing to get an idea of tone.  We suggest splitting this into four sections…

  • Key details - who you are
  • Your skills and achievements - your qualifications, MA, skills learnt voluntarily and any USPs
  • Your passions - explain why you are so interested in your subject or industry and show your energy, passion and knowledge for the job or sector
  • Aspirations - what are you looking for, and where do you want to end up?

 

Networking

LinkedIn is all about who you know, so go and make some new connections. Actively seek out endorsements and recommendations from professors, head coaches, volunteering leaders, employers and so on. Start by asking your friends and classmates to connect. Who knows, in three to five years they may be able to help you with your next position. Always personalise a message when connecting to someone in your immediate network. This will help them place where they know you from or let them know why you want to connect.  When you start to do this consistently, your My Network section will grow and LinkedIn will start to suggest more people as contacts.

For more tips on how to get that first job, see GradLink. The free careers service for international students studying in the UK.

 

By Jen Garmston Published: August 10, 2017

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