Most students who come in to use the Careers and Employment service have an idea of what LinkedIn is, many have started to create a profile…but most say they aren’t sure what to put on their profile, or how they should be using LinkedIn.
So, in this first post on LinkedIn – five tips for a great profile!
A full head shot is best, rather than an arty picture of you in the distance. Your photo will appear as a thumbnail in any search results for instance – where a full head shot will be easier to see. Aim for a reasonably professional-looking photo ie not one that is clearly of you on a beach, or in a bar…
LinkedIn will set the headline under your photo by default, and it will often say “Student at Sheffield Hallam”. While this is accurate, it does nothing to help you stand out from the other thousands of Sheffield Hallam students. Possible alternatives include:
First Year Software Engineering Student
Final Year English Student with Marketing Experience
Media Graduate | Range of Work Experience | Social Media Expertise
A good summary will entice viewers of your profile to carry on reading the rest of your profile. However, a summary can be difficult to write – after all, how do you sum yourself up?
Refer to your key strengths and skills, and the most important things you want to say about yourself. If you have a clear career in mind, include the keywords that employers in your industry look for. Refer to particularly relevant work experience, or key achievements. It is helpful to say what you are looking for – maybe: “…currently looking for a graduate management role in the UK retail industry”, or “seeking summer work experience in the advertising industry in the north of England “.
Avoid cliches and general statements. Get a friend to read your summary – do they recognise you, or could it apply to anyone on your course? If it’s the latter – change it!
Most students don’t write enough on their profiles. LinkedIn gives you more freedom than a CV where you are limited to two sides of A4. Give details of the work experience you have, and the skills you have developed. Don’t just write your degree title in the “Education” section, but add some information – don’t expect employers to know about the content of your degree. Write about particularly relevant modules, or modules you feel are a strength, projects and achievements, and your research project/dissertation.
The privacy settings can be found by clicking your tiny profile photo at the top right of the black header bar. You might want to keep your profile completely hidden while you play around with it and get it looking how you want to – go to “Edit your public profile”, then “Make your public profile visible to no-one”. Don’t forget to make your profile visible again, once you are happy with it!
Need more help?
Come to one of our weekly LinkedIn drop-ins, or an “Are You LinkedIn?” workshop: https://careerscentral.shu.ac.uk/finding-job/social-media or book an appointment with an Employment Adviser.