In our previous article, we looked at the power of LinkedIn as a tool to help you build and develop your professional presence. You’ve now uploaded your photo, chosen a banner that reflects your personality and career interests, and written an inspiring headline that is sure to create a positive impression. This is a great start!
Now it’s time to take a closer look at how you can add value to your profile page and continue to build on your professional presence.
Write a good profile summary
Your profile summary, which is the ‘About’ section of your profile, is located under your profile picture, banner and headline. Your summary is a chance to put your best foot forward by providing more of an insight into you, your career aspirations and your unique skills and traits. Your summary should be written in first person, using keywords, and be one to two paragraphs in length. Don’t be afraid to bring in some of your personality to make it memorable, while still keeping it professional.
Here is a fictitious example of a student who aspires to start his career in education:
Ever since I taught my younger cousin how to tie her shoelaces, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. There’s nothing like that ‘light bulb’ moment when a child learns something they didn’t know until someone took the time to teach them. I love the idea that I can make a positive impact in someone’s life every day as a teacher.
Studying Primary Education at Curtin University has made me more passionate than ever to shape the minds of our future leaders, innovators and social changemakers. After completing a ten week placement working with year five students in a local primary school, I am more passionate than ever to begin my career pathway in education. As I approach graduation, I look forward to bringing my love of learning, sense of humour, strong organisation skills and caring nature into my own classroom, where I hope to become the type of teacher who inspires my students and leaves them feeling great about themselves.
In this example, the student has made his aspirations and unique skills apparent. There is also a sense of excitement and energy in his summary that may gain it a closer look from potential employers.
Build your network
Now that you’ve created a solid profile, you can start to build a network of contacts If you’re not sure where to start, think about reaching out to fellow students you’ve worked with during your degree, current and former colleagues from the casual jobs or volunteer organisations you’ve worked in, and people you’ve met along the way, perhaps at networking events.
To engage even more with others, join LinkedIn groups. These communities exist for all sorts of categories, including alumni groups, industry-focused groups, social awareness groups, and so on. You can begin to build a network that aligns with not only your career goals but also your values and interests.
This is just the beginning of what you can do on LinkedIn. For a more in-depth look, join our session next week on creating a professional LinkedIn profile. And, if you need a professional headshot, book into our LinkedIn Photo Booth - it’s free for Curtin students!