Are you heading into your final year or on the lookout for your first job after university? If so, now’s the time to use LinkedIn to take your graduate job search to the next level.
You’ve probably already spent plenty of time polishing your CV and maybe even brushing up on your interview technique. But you may not have considered how LinkedIn could help you secure your dream career.
Savvy grads are using it to search for jobs, connect with alumni, and learn more about prospective companies. Being on there will ultimately lead to more opportunities and easier contact with relevant people. Here’s how to write your LinkedIn profile and create a dazzling, professional online presence.
Select an Appropriate Photo
Don’t leave your profile picture as the standard grey cutout. People love to see exactly who they’re dealing with and a good picture will lend your profile some authority while helping it to stand out.
Your photo is the first thing that a new employer or contact will see when they look at your LinkedIn profile. Because of this, it’s crucial to choose something appropriate.
The last thing you want is a bleary-eyed snap of you on a night out, so make it professional. That doesn’t necessarily mean taken by a professional photographer, but a picture that shows you in a professional light.
A headshot where you’re looking at the camera is ideal, but remember this will still include some of your upper body. Ensure that the clothing you can see in the picture is smart and presentable business dress.
Make Your Basic Info Short But Informative
Following your photo, your headline is potentially the next most important aspect of your LinkedIn profile. It’s what will catch a recruiter’s eye and could be the difference between securing an opportunity and being overlooked.
It needs to say what you do, shows off your best assets, and explain why you’re on LinkedIn. We know that can be difficult to sum up in one short, zippy sentence. But unless someone clicks on your profile to see more, your headline is all that shows.
Consider yourself a brand and your headline your slogan. This means you have around 20 words to make a big impact, so use them wisely.
Next, you need to write yourself a summary which should detail your experience, achievements, and qualifications. It should put some meat on the bones of your headline, going into more relevant detail. For this, you have a limit of 2,000 characters or roughly 300 words.
Make Use of the Features Available
LinkedIn enables you to add extra details to your profile beyond just the text you type. You can include various different types of media by adding or linking to external documents, photos, sites, videos, or presentations. Doing this can really help to bring your profile to life and elevate it above a dry rehashing of your work experience. It’s a great way to actually demonstrate what you can do and have done instead of just talking about it.
The endorsement and recommendation features are also brilliant tools for adding some professional clout to your profile. They’re essentially references from people within your network.
Start by making sure you’ve added all of your relevant skills in the Skills & Endorsements section. Then simply send requests to people who can verify that you’re an expert at them. Don’t be shy about asking former or current colleagues to provide you with these, and you can reciprocate in return.
Always Make Sure Your CV Matches Your LinkedIn
Though your LinkedIn profile is like an online, interactive resume, you should upload your CV to your profile. This will enable recruiters to access and download it and could lead to further opportunities.
As a basic measure, it’s crucial that your CV matches your LinkedIn profile. That means the dates, experience, and job titles must be the same otherwise, it will look extremely suspicious to anyone reviewing it.
Make It Complete
Double check that you’ve completed every part of your profile. This includes the following sections: photo, skills, location, education, position, industry and summary. By doing this you’ll create what’s called an “All-Star” profile.
LinkedIn says that having one of these makes you 27x more likely to be found in recruiter searches. It will also get you more relevant job recommendations, refined connection suggestions, and relevant updates on your feed.
Once this is complete you should mark your profile as open to opportunities, and select the area you want to work in and whether you’re willing to relocate.
*Now that you’ve created an eye-catching profile, check out this post on how to start building a powerful LinkedIn network that could help kickstart your career and even secure you your first job.
Phaidon International is the parent company of five leading specialist recruitment agencies. For more than 15 years, we have given clients and candidates the peace of mind that the recruitment process is in expert hands. Out continual investment in best-in-class technologies and consultant training enables us to recruit with speed, precision and accuracy. Today, we provide contingency, retained search and project-based contract recruitment across 11 offices in 6 countries. Contact us today to learn more about the company and the opportunities we offer.