Social media has become an important method of establishing networks and generating work opportunities. LinkedIn markets itself as ‘the world’s largest professional network with 300 million members in over 200 countries, including executives from all Fortune 500 companies. Increasingly, companies are using LinkedIn to search for potential candidates and to advertise vacancies.
Building a professional profile on LinkedIn, and actively participating in relevant groups for your area of interest, can be a particularly good investment whether you are looking for summer jobs, industrial placement years, internships or graduate job opportunities. However, the job opportunities won’t just come to you – you will get out what you put in!
- Spend time making your profile as complete as possible, as this is used by people to find you when conducting searches. (However, you can edit your public profile settings to control what, if any, information from your profile is available to people outside your network.)
- The LinkedIn profile includes some CV-like information, such as your employment history and qualifications – think carefully about what you will include. Use the CV writing tips on the Careers website to help you with the content and phrasing. As with any written job application or CV, proof-read carefully to pick up errors in spelling and grammar before clicking ‘Save’.
- Connect with friends, family and current contacts – you can allow LinkedIn to search your email address book for LinkedIn members and you can also find people by name using the LinkedIn search function. Send a short, but personal, message when inviting people to connect with you.
- Join groups related to your field of interest – you can join discussions on topics of interest to the group and see job postings.
LinkedIn has made six short videos aimed directly at students and graduates. The first five focus on how to use LinkedIn to build a professional online profile, to build a network and to find opportunities. You can find the first video and links to the others below.
By Tony Taylor, Careers Adviser