Whether you’re in first year, about to graduate, studying a post-grad course, or somewhere in between, you should be on LinkedIn. Yes, you heard right, you should be on LinkedIn!
Take a moment to take stock of what social media platforms you currently use – Insta, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp, and so on and so on! Now think about what you use them for – to share and view content, keep in touch with people, post a fabulous selfie, show off your new kicks, make an important announcement, or anything else you choose, because social media is all about you.
Just like you use your socials in your personal life, you can use LinkedIn to develop your professional presence.
LinkedIn is a professional networking site, designed to help you build connections in your industry, share your experiences and accomplishments, and find jobs. If you’re still unconvinced, take a moment to appreciate these stats, sourced directly from LinkedIn:
- Nearly 800 million members in 200 countries are registered on LinkedIn
- 77 job applications are submitted every second
- 4 people are hired every minute on LinkedIn
- 75% of hiring managers look at a candidate’s LinkedIn profile
Now that you know the power of LinkedIn, there are no excuses, but where should you start?
It’s simple and free to set up an account. From here, you can register your details and begin to build your profile. A powerful part of developing your personal brand, this is how you want others to perceive you from a professional standpoint.
Start by adding a quality photo of yourself. This personalises your page and gives a little more insight into you. Aim for a head and shoulders shot, looking your professional best, and of course, don’t forget to smile! Did you know that members with profile photos receive up to 21 times more profile views and 9 times more connection requests than those without a photo? True!
Now that you’ve got your winning photo uploaded, make your profile sparkle by adding a background image, sometimes called a ‘banner’. Reflecting your personality and your profession, this image should reinforce who you are and visually support the written portions you’ll go on to add to your profile. Google ‘LinkedIn banner images’ for inspiration, keeping in mind what you want your banner to say about you.
Next is your headline. This is a short, memorable professional slogan which will appear when someone clicks on your page, alongside your picture and banner. For example, ‘Curtin University student and aspiring social impact changemaker.’
Your headline is one of the most visible sections of your profile – recruiters can find you based on it – and is key to making a positive impression. For a student with limited professional experience, be sure to include what you’re studying, the type of job you’re seeking and some of your key skills.
Well done! You’ve made a great start in creating a professional LinkedIn profile. For more handy hints and tips, sign up for next week’s online LinkedIn session. And, if you need a professional headshot, book into our LinkedIn Photo Booth - it’s free for Curtin students!