In the previous post, I shared a little bit about how hard it is to secure an internship or find a job after graduation. I’ve put an emphasis on the importance on having an online presence to boost your odds in getting that acceptance letter. In this post, I’d like to share a trick to improve your employability, which is by having a LinkedIn profile!
I was offered a job through LinkedIn. True story. I didn’t apply for it. My manager stalked me and sent a message that changed my career: ‘Do you want to join our company as a content manager?’
I had just graduated six months earlier and I was offered a better job – both in terms of career prospects and salary. And I didn’t even apply for the position.
That’s the power of LinkedIn.
Sold? The first thing you need to know: get your headline right
Employers look at your LinkedIn profile before other social media. This makes having an outstanding profile even more important.
The first thing employers notice is your headline, as it is how they decide whether to click on your profile. For example, when my manager stalked me, my headline was Content Writer at YCAB Foundation, Editor at Indonesia Mengglobal, Blogger. My manager is able to deduce the skills I have and click my profile to find out more.
If you’re looking for jobs, don’t just write ‘Student at University of Melbourne’. Be specific of your roles and specialisations. (Here’s an even more in-depth tips to write your LinkedIn headlines.)
Totally a newbie? Here's the beginner's guide to LinkedIn.
Pay attention to your skills
After completing your profile (experiences, education and more), I want to emphasise on the skill section: be mindful of the keywords.
Your skill tags show the expertise you have. For example, I have blogging, online journalism and social media as my top skills. Ask your connections to endorse your skills too! It increases your credibility.
Grow your connection
That said, LinkedIn is not only a place to dump your resume. It’s a place to connect with people – your friends, colleagues and even your future employers.
So start with those who you already know. Connect with your tutors, lectures and classmates.
Then, connect with people you want to work for. You can also go one step further and ask them for advice. Most people would happy to help you.
Get as many (good) connections as you can. Employers love to see you having 278 connections instead of 32 connections. Believe it or not, this influences your chance for an interview.
‘Can you recommend me?’
Ask for recommendations – the more the merrier. Ask your tutors, colleagues, managers and mentors. In sum, ask someone who has an authority to talk about your skills.
Building recommendations is hard because if you’re like me, asking people to say good things about yourself seems weird. But what if they do write a recommendation? Your profile will be awesome.
From the eleven people I’ve approached for recommendations, nine replied.
Want more tips? Read this post by Forbes.
LinkedIn does not only show your resume – it connects you with future employers. It gets you in the loop with jobs you don’t even know exist. Who knows, you might not need to apply for another job!
Photo: smi23le, used under Creative Commons license