Does climbing the ladder have to be a lonely process? Also who said it’s a ladder? If you’re using Linkedin effectively it will feel more like a staircase than a ladder. Which would you prefer to climb?
Linkedin is essentially the Facebook for working professionals with the aim of networking, selling or marketing their skills and services minus the cute cat videos that your friends post.
One of the things that I’ve observed that young graduates or students using Linkedin is that they treat it like it’s another social media platform – trying to add everyone and anyone in the hopes that someone will eventually give them a job.
Here are the top 8 ways to use Linkedin if you’re a graduate or early in your career.
1) Use an appropriate profile pic
This should seem obvious but it should not be your Tinder profile pic. Keep it simple, a shirt or blazer with a plain background. No one wants to see you clubbing with a drink in hand on your night out. Your Linkedin profile picture should be far more professionally done up and different from your Facebook picture. Also please SMILE, no one want to see constant resting bitch face.
2) Use your Summary page
Don’t use it to describe your complete personal life story. But make it at least 2 to 5 paragraphs of what makes you great at your job, why you love what you do and what makes you a great professional.
Don’t throw in buzz words such as passionate or motivated without having some sort of statement or sentences why you are. E.g. I’ve always been fascinated and love the challenge of solving complex engineering problems ever since high school VS I’m a motivated engineer.
What if you don’t have any ‘real’ work experience yet? That’s fine, but state that you are studying or finished your studies and you are currently looking for a full-time job. Best to state your intentions if you’re a graduate and what you can provide to your future employers.
Also make use of white space – make it readable for a potential future connections to read and get to know you, no one likes to be greeted with a wall of text.
Make sure to PROOFREAD – there’s nothing worse than a Summary page that it riddled with grammar mistakes!
3) Fill in your jobs that you have done even in High school
Some graduates don’t put in their jobs they did in high school because they feel it’s irrelevant. Nope this is where you want to show case that you DO have experience. Fill in any responsibilities that you have done and make them sound interesting. E.g. Customer Service vs Ensured customer wellbeing and resolved their issues with care and attention.
4) Add your skills section
Everyone has some sort of skill, thankfully Linkedin has a plethora of skills that you can pick and add to your profile. Make sure that you select that ones that you do have or accel at, this should also match up with what you’ve stated in your summary. If you know more than one language – show it, don’t hide it!
5) To get noticed, start liking relevant articles to your projected career path
Start following some thought leaders, business industries and successful business owners who have walked the talk.
6) Do add people in your industry – but be selective and don’t feel bad if they don’t add you back
Initially you’re just adding friends and people that you know in your own social circle. Eventually this will expand outside of that circle and you’ll have a professional circle of networks that can help open your reach to recruiters and potential employers. Mutual connections are good way to start however make sure you introduce yourself well which leads to the next point.
7) If you do add people – write a personal message to them as to why you want to connect with them
If you come across someone who is already in the industry, by all means add them. However make sure you properly introduce yourself and tell them why you want to connect. The best introductions have been personal asking relevant questions that may help with your career or better yet asking someone for advice. Most people are willing to help those new in the workforce.
Hi I’m XXXXX,
I came across your profile and I was very impressed as I hope to aspire to your career ladder.
I’ve love to connect with you and ask how you got your first job as I’m currently searching for one now.
Hope to hear from you soon,
It doesn’t have to be like the above but when you put in the effort to actually ask for something nicely, you will find that you get a response back as opposed to clicking the ‘Connect’ button and then not talking to them.
8) Put in your contact details
Your contact details should always include a professional sounding email not firstname.lastname@example.org. Simply best to use “yourname”@domain.whatever to make things easy. Also if you’d want, you can put in your mobile details if you are comfortable with that. If you do, make sure that you’ve included your area and international codes so people can call you up.
If you update your Linkedin profile accordingly, where it looks like you actually put the time and effort to highlight your skills and talents – Potential employers and recruiters will be able to see it and hopefully you may get the inMail message from a recruiter telling you of a job opportunity that they are hiring for. Overall make sure your profile is concise, well organised, complete and portray the best impression that you’d want yourself to be seen by your peers and future co-workers.