So many people are graduating in July, from so many Universities up and down the country. They are going out into the world of work and competing for the few jobs out there. The next few months up until Christmas will be a challenging time for many, but the real world can be aided by the offline world – When you submit a job application, chances are an employer will search your name online and find out more about you (like you quickly seeking a Wikipedia page for your new favourite celebrity), so it’s best to have a Linked In profile – An official online CV…
In the Summary section, this is a chance to give a short and sweet description of yourself – Depending on what kinds of jobs you’ll apply for, the Summary can be general or specific. Usually it’s best to include what you’re doing at Present (I am a fresh Media graduate…), what you want to do in the Future (…I’m looking for an internship…), and what you’ve done in the Past (…I have worked for media companies in the past). While I recommend mostly sticking to facts that can be backed up with hard evidence (ie. a reference from a past employer), sometimes you can express opinions such as personal qualities (I consider myself to be reliable and hard working), as long as you can back up the said expressions with examples.
The sections on a Linked In profile can be re arranged, so whether to order Education or Work first below the Summary depends on the sector you want to go into – A job in Academia would probably warrant the Education section to go first, and a practical job like Media would probably warrant the Work section to go first. For the “University” entry, it’s best to broadly describe the skills and experiences gained from your study and even from any societies joined, rather than listing the module names and grades.
Work Experience (includes Volunteering)
I would say that this is the most important section, as employers find comfort in knowing there’s evidence that you’ve done certain things before. As a result, I always recommend using bullet point lists instead of ugly paragraphs, so that details are really easy to find. Sometimes paragraphs are necessary when a job description is very complex, but where it can be avoided, again focus on skills and experience that can be transferred to a role that you’re looking for.
There is a section for Awards that you’ve won, and this can include business grants, commendations, and attendance certificates. There’s also a Skills and Endorsements section where others can “Like” a skill that you apparently have, but there is a slight problem with this as when someone endorses you, Linked In automatically asks you to endorse them which can lead to pressured endorsements (doing it because you have to) instead of meaningful endorsements (doing it because you want to), so only keep endorsements that are genuine. Finally, there’s an Additional Info section where you can add Interests to show how well rounded you are, as well as the all important contact info like an email address.
So there we have a round up of what to do for a Linked In page. Make sure everything is professional including the profile photo, and be sure to look over your Linked In before you go into an interview, as you may get asked about something on the profile despite never mentioning it in your initial job application.