So we hope that you have started optimising your LinkedIn profile with Part 1 of our 10 tips on building a profile recruiters will love. With the remaining 5 tips you can continue improving your LinkedIn presence and learn a few more tricks on how to make this professional network work for you. And we’ve also got a bonus tip, so keep reading!
If you have taken any courses that are outside of the usual education cycle, include them here. The more section of your LinkedIn profile you fill in, the better. Having taken extra courses shows your dedication and ambition to develop yourself and your skills.
The skills section is great for filling in with as many and diverse skills as you can think of – you can highlight both technical and soft skills. Try to tailor your skills to the job and industry you’re aiming for. What you want is that your key skills stand out and attract recruiters from the businesses you’re interested in. So do some research, find out what they’re looking for and if there’s a skill you don’t have, then make a conscious effort to develop those and add them to your list later. LinkedIn also allows your connections to endorse you for your skills, which can be great, if people you have worked with endorse you for your skills. It has become a practice for anyone to endorse anyone else, just so they can get an endorsement back. But don’t worry about that too much – just focus on listing the best skills that recruiters within your dream industry will look out for.
As students or recent graduates, it might be difficult to obtain employer recommendations, especially if your work experience is limited. What you can do, however, is ask your lecturers and tutors for recommendations while still at university. This is a great way of starting to build up your professional network and validating the skills and experience you have listed on your profile.
This is another great feature of LinkedIn – you can follow the organisations you’re interested in and keep up-to-date with any industry news, developments and jobs that companies publish. Following organisations through LinkedIn makes it really easy to research a business before an interview, reach out to its employees and start a conversation. Doing your research and reaching out to the right people in the right way pays off, so take advantage of that LinkedIn feature. You might even find hidden opportunities that you’re a perfect fit for!
Think of groups as virtual professional networks; they can be open or closed. Groups are usually set up to cover a particular industry or topic. Find groups that relate to the industries you’re interested in and get involved with discussions straight away. Showcase your knowledge, skills and experiences. Using groups in the right way should make it really easy for you to establish your presence within your favoured industry circles and get noticed by influencers within those circles. You can start exploring how groups work and how you can use them by joining our DMU Student Gateway group, dedicated to connecting DMU students, graduates and staff.
Bonus tip: customise your LinkedIn URL
Once you set up your profile, you might notice that LinkedIn provides you with a long URL, which is a problem if you want to include it on your CV or cover letter, unless using a hyperlink. You can, however, customise your URL, provided that the URL you request is available. Customising the link to your LinkedIn profile does not only make it easier for you to market the profile to potential employers, but it also signals the fact that you have taken some care in creating a really good and complete professional profile. You can find out how to customise your LinkedIn URL here.
Following the above steps will help you start navigating through a really professional network online. You can then transfer those skills to networking in other situations – the experience will be invaluable.
Best of luck in creating and developing a LinkedIn profile recruiters will be impressed by. Have you already built your profile? Did you struggle with anything? Let us know in the comments and we’ll try to help!