Throughout the pandemic, in-person networking events have been limited. Because of this, students must make the most of the digital opportunities available. LinkedIn is one such opportunity, becoming one of the most popular professional networking platforms and boasting 39 million students and graduates as members. However, with so much competition, there are tips and techniques required to help you stand out from the crowd.
Visually Enhance your profile
Make sure your profile photo is a clear shot of your face with an open or smiling expression. You want to come across as friendly and approachable. People will find it much easier communicating with you if they have a face in mind. It’ll also be useful when in-person events ramp up again and people can recognise you in a crowd.
Also, don’t forget to add a header image. It’s important to choose a header image that highlights something you are passionate about. A full visual profile will show other users that you are more engaged and give potential contacts a glimpse into your personality.
Make your intentions clear
Take a moment to decide what it is you are trying to achieve with your profile. Are you looking for a job? B2B networking? Use the ‘About’ section to highlight your intentions and aspirations. As users go onto your profile, this will be one of the first things they see along with your photo. How are you going to get what you want, unless people know what it is?
Post engaging content
As with all social platforms, you’ll stay at the forefront of people’s minds if you post relevant, useful and engaging content. Writing articles and uploading new photos and videos will get you the most interaction but isn’t always time realistic. If you don’t have the time or ideas to post new content, you can share other people’s content that interests you. Find a respected news source in your field and repost articles from them adding your comments to the post. Either way, make sure your profile is active and interesting.
LinkedIn groups are a great way of learning more about your areas of interest. They are often a place where announcements are made about upcoming events, seminars and virtual networking events. Groups are also a great way to discover influential individuals in your chosen field.
Connecting with individuals
This is key to grow your presence on LinkedIn; the more individuals you connect with, the further any content you post or reshare will go. However, you want to make sure that those connections are adding value to your profile. When sending a connection request, it is best to send a message as to why you want to connect with that individual. If they receive a connection request with a message, they are more likely to accept.
LinkedIn course certification
LinkedIn Learning features numerous courses that teach everything from overall skills such as CV writing to more specialist courses on drawing vector graphics and data visualisation. When you complete any of these online courses, you should make the most of the option to share the course certificate on your profile. By sharing these certificates, you show that you’re open to learning, always gaining new skills and, as mentioned above, keeps your account active.
Give endorsements to get endorsements
Endorsements are a great way of confirming your skills and increasing your credibility. However, when you’re new to LinkedIn, it can be hard to gain them. One tried and tested technique is giving to receive. Choose connections that you’re close enough with to leave genuine endorsements and leave feedback on their skills that you find admirable. They’ll be alerted of their new endorsements and be more likely to leave you some positive feedback in return.
LinkedIn Skills Assessments are an underutilised function that allows participants to test their talents in business, design and technology. The assessments usually consist of fifteen multiple choice questions, and once completed successfully, you can add the skills badge to your profile. This is especially useful if a specific skill is requested in a job description that you’ll be applying for via LinkedIn. Research showed that candidates who complete LinkedIn Skill Assessments are approx. 30% more likely to get hired.
The key to LinkedIn is user engagement and content. It is important to stay active on the platform, either posting yourself or commenting, liking and sharing content from others.
If you’re a ULaw student who would like some guidance on ways to enhance your job applications, get in touch with our Employability Service.