Purpose of social media networks
- To help your career planning when you’re ready to start researching companies and applying for jobs.
- To connect with employers and utilise in your job search through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Purpose of LinkedIn
- Building a professional online profile allows you to showcase your skills and experience online, connect with potential employers and professional peers and look for opportunities.
- LinkedIn can be a useful tool in developing your commercial awareness around companies and the sector they are operating in.
- Use the Alumni Tool to see where students from different universities and courses have gone on to work.
- You can use it to conduct research on the company or organisation you are hoping to work for.
- Think of it too as your online CV. In fact employers and applicants are increasingly using LinkedIn profiles as a supplement to, or even a substitute for, the traditional CV.
A great profile includes:
- A clear headline which sums up your professional experience, interests and skills.
- A recent professional profile picture, (ideally a head shot), which makes you look friendly and approachable
- A short summary which provides a snapshot of yourself.
- A brief list of skills which sums up your main areas of expertise that people can recommend you for. Think carefully about the words potential employers and contacts are likely to search for. Check out other profiles for ideas!
- Up to date details of your education, including relevant modules.
- A brief employment history. Detail the main tasks you were responsible for and the skills you learnt. Remember you don’t have to include every job, just the relevant ones.
- Recommendations from former bosses, colleagues and clients, mention specific achievements.
- Links to LinkedIn groups you have joined which reflect your interests and career aspirations.
This infographic from Leisure Jobs gives a good summary of the above as well as some helpful tips!
Writing the summary
Your summary is the most important part of your profile. Keep it brief but try to capture the key elements of your work experience, interests, skills and aspirations. Avoid summarising your entire CV or duplicating lists of facts, such as qualifications or current work responsibilities, which can be found elsewhere in your profile.
Remember: Anyone trying to contact you via LinkedIn should be doing so for work related matters and this should be conducted with in a professional capacity. If you are concerned about the nature in which someone contacts you on LinkedIn or any other online platform please email us.
LinkedIn provides a huge amount of privacy options for your safety, so ensure you take time to explore these.
Building a positive digital foot print for yourself can help you to make useful connections and act as an online CV. A blog can be a great way to achieve this. By recording your experiences and skills development you can share this with employers and even link to examples on you CV or Job applications.