Navigating LinkedIn as a young person entering the job market can seem daunting. This guide will offer advice on utilising the platform to present your most employable self to prospective networks and employers.
A Perfect Profile
In a recent interview with local photographer Geoff Broadway, he stressed the importance of putting your best foot forward on employability platforms such as LinkedIn; a professional profile headshot and effective headline are essential to creating a profile which leaves a good first impression.
Make sure to list work experience in reverse chronological order, to ensure employers know your most recent employment history and any current projects you may still be working on. Cutting out cliché words and phrases from your profile and keeping it short and precise is important too.
Utilise all the additional features of creating a LinkedIn profile. For example, provide direct links to any published, online blogs or video channels and maximise your online presence with the use of relevant hashtags. Add in any skills, endorsements, recommendations, or interests to leave prospective employers with a sense of who you are as an individual and not just who you are as a potential job candidate.
Using the App
Once your profile is complete, the next task becomes effectively navigating the site itself. Building your LinkedIn network is essential; unlike Facebook and Instagram, your contacts on LinkedIn should not just include your close circle of friends. Reach out to past colleagues or employers and make use of the Alumni Tool to add professional contacts who studied at the same university. It’s important to get as many connections going as you can. The ‘three degrees of separation’ aspect of the app allows you to network with people who may share similar interests, but no direct mutual connections.
Another way to boost your presence on LinkedIn is to join various groups and follow important organisation and company pages. Posting discussion pieces and resharing articles both in these groups and on your personal activity feed will attract industry specific attention and make employers aware of your professional interests and passion for certain sectors. Getting used to regularly posting and creating your own content is also a fantastic way to propel your online presence once you’re more comfortable navigating the app.
Finally, LinkedIn is most used to source relevant job opportunities and there’s also some helpful tips for this. The job search tool allows you to filter results for career opportunities only, with tick options to search for more focused keywords. Clicking on the Career Section of individual company pages and messaging contacts directly about job opportunities are additional ways to stand out and improve your employability prospects.
We hope this short guide has given you some valuable insight into navigating and utilising the app to put your best foot forward and present your most professional and genuine self to the world of work online.