While most of us spend hours scrolling through Snapchat stories and crafting Instagram posts, LinkedIn can seem like a much more daunting platform. Throughout my time in education teachers, speakers, employers and lecturers have recommended setting up a LinkedIn profile without much guidance as to where to start. Below, I talk through the process of sparking and growing your LinkedIn presence. I guarantee you have a lot more to include in your profile than you think.
The Basics: Name, Photo & Bio
Although it may seem simple, getting the basics right is essential for making a good first impression. It’s best to leave the nicknames, group photos and party or drinking snaps out of your profile to ensure a professional look. Perhaps choose a photo of you in a coffee shop or against a picturesque landscape for your profile picture rather than the selfies typical on other socials. When it comes to writing a bio, short and snappy is perfect. You will have the opportunity to include details of your experience later, so focus on your current most relevant positions and don’t forget to name your university and course. My bio simply states my uni, course, and a couple of writing positions I have at the moment.
Showcase your Experience
The Experience section of your profile is your time to shine. From volunteering roles to work experience weeks, to internships to part-time jobs to university societies, there is a multitude of things you can include in your experience timeline. Remember to think of positions you had back in school or college; the more experience the better. You can also include a short description of what your position entailed, perhaps listing a couple of skills you learned and how the role was relevant. As you attend events, find new positions and earn promotions, you can log and share your progress by writing posts. You can even make posts asking others to collaborate on projects or apply for positions you have to offer. It’s also beneficial to include an overview of your aspirations, ideals and roles in the summary section of your profile.
LinkedIn is great not only for logging skills but for gaining new ones. LinkedIn learning can enhance your knowledge in a range of areas from using WordPress to programming code and, upon completing a course, you can add a badge to your profile.
While you might think you have sparse contacts in your field, LinkedIn will suggest nearby people who have worked for the same companies or attend the same uni that you are likely to know. You should mostly connect with people you have met and follow those you don’t know but are keen to keep up with. Whether connecting with coursemates or previous employers, your network is bound to expand as you gain experience and presence.
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