LinkedIn is a professional social networking platform which hosts more than 500 million professional profiles. Do you know what does it mean? A plenty of job opportunities for you.
It has become a universally adopted hiring tool, with more than 87 percent of recruiters using it as part of their process.
If you are still asking whether you need a LinkedIn profile, the answer is yes. Why is it such a big deal?
• You can find a job. Obviously.
• It’s a great place for networking. You can connect with your schoolmates, teachers, colleagues, or people you met at conferences. These connections may be helpful for your future career.
• You build your online presence. And your personal online brand now matters more than ever.
Getting noticed on LinkedIn is no alchemy. You can make it happen by focusing on these 9 things:
1. Write a strong headline. It’s the first thing people are going to see. You have 120 characters at the top of your page to tell the world what you (want to) do. Write something like “St. Andrews University honours student & aspiring lawyer” or “Media relations student seeking copywriting internship.”
2. Include a catchy summary. In 3-5 paragraphs, sum up what you have to offer – your main qualifications, skills and goals. Just think of it as your “elevator pitch” or the opening statement of your cover letter. Here are useful examples.
3. Don’t forget the keywords. You want to make sure your headline, summary, as well as your entire profile, contain relevant keywords. You need to set up your profile to be optimally findable on LinkedIn.
4. Use a professional picture. Choose a simple headshot in which you’re looking straight ahead. Have a professional picture taken, if you can. Your photo doesn’t have to be boring but you need to look professional and pleasant.
5. Complete your profile. LinkedIn says your profile will appear 40 times more in search results if complete. What makes a profile complete?
6. Share all relevant experience. Have you done some volunteer work for a local charity?
Attended a conference? Helped at your student’s council? Worked as an intern? Treat all of these as a regular work experience.
7. Complete students sections. LinkedIn has sections designed just for students, such as Courses, Projects, Certifications, and Organizations. Take advantage of these.
8. Get recommendations. You can ask your teachers and professors, coaches, contacts from your volunteer work, or employer from your internship. As a student, you have no authority yet. Let others do the bragging for you.
9. Be active and visible. Connect with industry leaders, write or share relevant articles, engage yourself in industry-relevant topics. There are actually people who got hired via LinkedIn just by commenting a post. Pretty simple, right?
After setting up an awesome LinkedIn profile, let’s get down to finding your new part-time job or internship. There are actually four ways how LinkedIn can help you score a job:
• You can search for a new job. Search LinkedIn’s job board and apply for jobs. Check out internships and graduate jobs on the LinkedIn student portal. It has all the entry-level job and internship postings on LinkedIn. If you like a job post, check who posted it and reach out to a recruiter directly via LinkedIn. Don’t be shy! Also, you can follow companies you’d like to work with so you’re first to know about any job opportunities.
• A new job can find you. Even if you aren’t actively searching for a job, you can receive cool job offers from hiring managers. For that, you need to have a killer profile.
• It can increase your chances of getting hired. Some employers can google you up before offering you a job (70% of them do it). And your LinkedIn profile will most likely show up first. A well-customized profile will increase your chances.
• Interview prep. You can browse profiles of companies you want to work for. This research helps you a lot to prepare for your job interview.
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