What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 120 million members & growing rapidly. Linkedin connects you to your trusted contacts & helps you exchange knowledge, ideas & opportunities with a broader network of professionals. Linkein is free to join but there is an enhances service for those wishing to pay a premium.
How can LinkedIn help me find work?
Linkedin enables you to set up a professional CV of your career so far. Many major companies throughout the UK and the world have a Linkedin presence. Linkedin enables you to take control of your online identity. Many companies these days will Google a prospective employee. If you have a Linkedin account this will be the first result and will show you at your most professional.
Linkedin gives you the opportunity to connect and network with people and can help build your professional reputation. It has a search engine, tools to research companies and a jobs board. You may see the profiles of the people who may be interviewing you at a prospective employer.
Companies will use LinkedIn to headhunt people for jobs.
Create a profile…
Type in your email address to find other people you might know on linkedin. This is a great way to add new contacts but remember that your contacts could be a reflection of you. This isn’t Facebook or Twitter and isn’t an extension to socialising with friends, you should make sure the contacts you add are professional.
Follow your influencers… or don’t.
Employers who view your profile probably don’t care too much about who your influencers are. They can produce interesting content but they probably don’t enhance your profile.
Select a few interests. Employers might be quite interested in what your interests are. If you are going for a tech related job and say you have an interest in festivals then there could potentially be a cross over.
To start building your profile, click on the image in the corner to go on to your profile. Then click the ‘Edit Profile’ button.
First Step – Consider a photo. You can add a photo (a headshot is recommended or upload a larger photo and edit it) to your LinkedIn Profile. This isn’t essential but it does help people identify who they are talking to and humanizes your profile. Think about how you could be perceived in your photo, look professional.
Summary –This doesn’t need to be too long but does need to surmise you in a professional sense. Think about keywords that would be attractive to employers. Effective words that describe your work ethic like passionate, enthusiastic, committed, experience, reliable & engaging are good choices. Maybe mention something that you are interested in or your ambitions.
Add examples of your work – This is where a Linkedin profile can help trump your average CV. You can add examples of your work and professional events you have attended. Creating a portfolio. If you are interested in product design, upload some of your creations. If you have articles relating to your work add links, if you’ve done volunteered then add some pictures and think outside the box, if you are part of a sports team then that is a great example of how you can work as part of a team. Remember, this is not a platform like Facebook, an employer does not want to see your Saturday night antics or internet memes.
Experience – This is where you put information about your previous employment. There is a space later on to add times that you have volunteered but if you don’t have a lot of previous experience, you prefer to add it here. As well as previous jobs, details like work placements, internships and freelance work would be good in this section (Leave projects to later on, there’s a place for that).
Outline the kind of duties you had within that role. Try to use no more than 7 or 8 points to surmise your responsibilities but length can be a little deceptive on Linkedin, you’ll tend to find you can get away with adding more detail without it looking too much longer.
Get Recommendations – Other people on Linkedin can add recommendations. This is a great way for employers to see what kind of employee you are from somebody who has worked with you. These can carry a lot of weight. If you have worked with someone, why not ask if they can write you recommendations?
Courses – Add courses you have been on. This is a great way to show your commitment to seeing a task through to the end.
Projects – The project sections is a great opportunity to showcase your work. Add a summary of what was expected of you and think about what kind of impact you had. You could structure your summary with a ‘S.T.A.R’ model….
STAR Answer Model
Situation – What was the project, who was the company/person you doing the project for?
Task – What was the task you were set?
Action – What did you do to meet the requirements of the task?
Response – How was your worked received? Did you get any recognition or feedback for the project?
(This is also a really effective way to structure your response to a question in an interview when explaining using your previous experience as an example of a time you demonstrated a particular skill or quality.)
Volunteering – Volunteering is a great way to show that you are an individual who is proactive and will work hard on their on initiative. It also is an opportunity to show you might have worked to develop skills outside of work that could be transferred to the work environment.
Skills and Endorsements – This is an opportunity to show an employer that other people recognise the skills and abilities you have as well as identifying them yourself. Linkedin is a social media platform, be it a professional one.
People interacting with your profile can give an insight to an employer about your potential to work in the environment at their office and how you get along with other people. Don’t worry, traffic on your profile takes time. The seeds you sow when developing your profile, you will reap the benefits of later.
Connections & Groups – One of the purposes of Linkedin is to begin to build up a professional network. You should add professional contacts, these might be people who
you don’t regularly interact with but could be helpful for your work in the future. It’s a great way to keep a connection with contacts within a certain sector, people might change jobs or companies but they could potential still be able to help. Connecting your profile with them gives you that opportunity to keep up-to-date.
Groups are a way of gaining insights into area’s that interest you. If you are searching for a job, there might be groups you can join that post advertisings you might be interested in. There might be work organisations who you would like to keep in contact with or find out more information about.
Your Public Profile – Your profile link can be found under your image on your profile. This link takes you to a new page. It’s like an online CV, a webpage dedicated to your professional work. Think about adding this link to the signature of your email. It’s a quick and easy way for someone to get an insight into the work you do and are involved in.
You can change what information is available on your public profile by hovering over your image and clicking privacy and settings. From here there are lots of options regarding
privacy and who sees your content. To edit your public profile, click on the ‘Edit your public profile link’.
From this page you can then look at other options like changing your url or deciding what kind of content you would like people to be able to see.
Export your public portfolio to PDF – So you’ve got a Linkedin profile and you don’t want to have to write out all that information again into a CV, right?
No problem. You can export your Linkedin profile as a PDF to create an instant professional CV. Simply hover on the downwards-facing arrow next to the ‘Edit Profile’ button, scroll down to ‘Export PDF’. Boom! One instant professional CV.
Thanks very much for reading, to find out more features or to enhance your Linkedin profile visit – http://goo.gl/FCF7cd