LinkedIn is an online network for professionals. It is a bit like Facebook, except that it is used by professionals to connect with one another, and exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities. Your LinkedIn Profile is your online professional résumé that you can use to promote yourself and may help you find a job in your chosen field.
Professional networking can be a valuable job search tactic. Once you have graduated, you need to update or create a professional profile that reflects who you are and your specific skill set. Your profile is an opportunity to showcase your talents and make a good first impression on potential employers before you have even met them face-to-face. Employers may contact you directly and they often check your online presence before interviewing you for a job. There are many excellent resources available online to assist you in building your LinkedIn profile. To get some ideas about how to create a good LinkedIn profile, check out some of the profiles of people you may know, or who may work in an area of interest to you. Consider your own reactions to what you see, and this will help to guide you in creating an appropriate and professional profile.
Some of the key elements to building a standout profile are;
- Choosing an appropriate photo.
- Including an informative profile headline.
- Highlighting your education.
- Developing a concise professional summary that emphasises your skills, qualifications, achievements and experience. Do not simply copy & paste your resume!
- Using specific keywords words or phrases to describe your skills and experience BUT avoid buzzwords (e.g., responsible, creative, effective, analytical, patient).
- Joining relevant groups to build a reputation.
- Creating a relevant network; make new connections and reconnect with old ones.
- Customising your URL (e.g., linkedin.com/yourname).