When you’re looking for an internship or permanent employment, it is beneficial to reach out to organisations through all avenues possible. In a time where technology and online presence are increasingly important, setting up and maintaining your LinkedIn profile can create many opportunities for you. With millions of professionals using LinkedIn, you can showcase your work, apply for jobs and network with industry professionals. Here are our top tips to make your LinkedIn profile effective and highlighting the (very) obvious mistakes you should avoid.
- Profile picture
Firstly, you’ll want to use a profile picture that looks professional. A picture of you wearing a collar or suit jacket will do the trick. It doesn’t matter if it’s from Cue or the bargain bin at Lowes, you should always dress for success. Also, try to avoid using any ‘party pics’, such as that selfie you took at Johnny Ringo’s last Thursday. Although you think you looked great posing next to the mechanical bull with a Milton Mango in one hand, it’s best to leave that for Facebook. Your picture is the first thing potential employers will see on your LinkedIn profile, so you’ll want to look the part.
Make sure you take the time to write a memorable headline and summary. There are some great examples here. Viewers need to know who you are, what you are good at and how you can benefit their organisation. It’s just like the summary on your Tinder profile in the sense that you’re wanting to grab attention and sound like a catch. The only difference is that a potential employer is more likely to buy you dinner or call you back after the first meeting.
- Contact details
If you are going to include your contact details on your profile, make sure everything is recent and up to date. Try to avoid using the email address you made for MSN in primary school for example firstname.lastname@example.org. I would suggest using a simple email address with your name, initials or even your university email address.
If you are looking to land an internship in a particular industry, it’s important to include skills that are relevant to the company or position you are interested in. Good for you if you can touch your nose with your tongue or rap an entire Eminem verse, but unfortunately those skills aren’t relevant (unless you’re applying for a job for ‘D12’). Some good examples of skills might include web design, SEO marketing and written communication skills. Make sure you are being truthful. If you falsely claim to possess certain skills, it’s going to be quite awkward if you land the job and can’t actually speak 3 languages.
LinkedIn also allows you to publish your work. This means you have the opportunity to share any articles, blog posts or presentations with potential employers or colleagues. This, however, doesn’t mean you should be posting every assignment you’ve completed (some of those ‘quality’ essays from your first year of uni should never be shared with anyone). It is a platform for you to showcase your writing skills, and is particularly beneficial for those wanting to work in the media and communication industry.
By Stacey Kirk