LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for networking and keeping up to date with what’s going on in the business world. Getting your LinkedIn profile created for the first time is really simple, so once you’ve got your basic account set up, maybe have a think about my 5 top tips for how to make the most of it.
Hopefully by now you’ve made sure that all your social media accounts online like Facebook and Twitter have been made completely private and once potential employers have seen that you’ve been sensible and locked them, the next stop for them will most likely be your LinkedIn profile.
It’s therefore really important that you populate it fully and complete all the sections with sufficient detail to show off your experience.
1. For that really professional touch, I recommend you look into personalising the URL. That way you can put it on your CV etc.
2. So you’ve got a great profile, but you need to ensure that you just add the finishing touch, which is a photograph of you looking professional. There’s no place for snapchat filters here, so I really recommend just putting on some professional business attire, standing next to a plain background and just getting a friend to take a photo of you.
Now if you want something that’s a little higher quality, I’d recommend keeping an eye out for opportunities at our careers fairs on campus which often offer a professional photographer who can take a high quality headshot for you.
3. In terms of building up your network, it’s really important that you don’t just treat this as a way to add anyone and everyone. I’d say the general rule of thumb is to only add people that you’ve had some sort of meaningful interaction with. So perhaps start with friends, friends of your family, maybe lecturers or people that you’ve met during employment or work experience.
Then you can start to really harness the power of the university’s alumni network to speculatively reach out to people who might be working in similar roles or industries to the one that you’re targeting. I’d recommend that you speak to your Careers Consultant about how to do this.
4. LinkedIn is also really great for being able to follow businesses that you’re interested in and to keep up-to-date with what’s going on in the organisation or the sector that you’re looking at, so this is a great way to broaden your commercial awareness.
5. Finally, why not use LinkedIn to re-share interesting articles that you’ve read or perhaps even write content of your own? Perhaps you could write a summary of what you learnt from say working in a professional business environment for the first time, or perhaps your key takeaways from an Insight Week or an employer panel event you attended. This all contributes to building up your ‘personal brand’ and makes you more visible to others.
6. A bonus tip here! Remember to use LinkedIn Learning – it’s totally free for University of Reading students, and you can add your achievements directly to your profile to impress employers!
So those are my top tips for using LinkedIn effectively. For any more in-depth guidance, speak to your Careers Consultant.
We’re here throughout the year, so go to My Jobs Online to book your appointment.
Will Peshall, Careers Consultant, Henley Business School