No one likes bragging. No one really likes themselves online. And yet, despite how much we hate it
(case in point; LinkedIn: the social media for the unemployed) LinkedIn has elbowed itself into job searching and become a necessity for anyone thinking of life post uni.
It’s only September and already course mates are murmuring about internships. Meeting a friend for
coffee the other day; she complained endlessly of not knowing where to begin or even how to use LinkedIn. And so, I thought, let’s investigate and figure out what you’re meant to do with this labyrinth of boasting and networking.
In truth, as a good PPE student, I already had a LinkedIn. Having previously applied to internships, of which many required me to give a link to my profile – something also worth knowing, because yes LinkedIn is unfortunately important. However, being nothing if not committed, I instead helped set up my friend’s profile to figure out the best tips and pit falls to avoid. Here’s five pointers to get you started:
One) Add people you know
Build a network of friends and follow companies you’re interested in. Their posts will come up in your feed (a bit like Facebook) which will keep you informed on opportunities. There’s also the added bonus that you can stalk old school mates.
Two) Privacy is important
You’ll want to check your settings. Depending on how you’ve set them up, people might be able to see if you’re looking at their profile (tad awks if you’re checking out your exes new person). Also check how much you’re comfortable sharing with the world wide web. All of this is super easy to do and much more straightforward than normal social media – yep, looking at you Instagram.
Three) Yes, you do need an about section
It makes it personal and sets you apart. Who are you, aside from your grades and exaggerated extracurriculars? What are you interested in, what are your strengths? Put aside your feigned modesty and argue why you’re the best. Don’t forget to add other sections to your profile too, like your work experience and skills. See it as an online CV.
Four) Keep profiles professional
I don’t care how cute you look, don’t use a selfie as your profile picture. Professional is the goal, not hotness. It took about 20 minutes scrolling back through my friends photos to get one that worked for me but it’s worth it to give a better impression to potential employers.
A quick google into proper LinkedIn practises also revealed that it’s worth having a header photo to make your profile seem more fab, less drab. A popular tip was having a photo of the city you’re based in so employers know where you’re looking for jobs.
Five) You don’t need to list all your grades
Don’t worry about module grades, but do list interesting stuff you’ve studied In you education section, you can add details of your degree. If you’ve studied modules outside of your subject, or have any useful modules then definitely mention them! You can also add societies and clubs you’ve been part of at uni and school. When it comes to past grades from GCSEs etc, you don’t need to go into excruciating detail: how many did you get, and what was the spread? (e.g. 10 GCSES: A-C).
The key take away? Keep the detail simple but relevant. The point of LinkedIn is to connect you to real people, so keep it personable and don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there – every one else is.