Create a Linkedin profile
Linkedin is a free, professional social networking site used by millions of people all over the world. You can use Linkedin to:
- build a network of contacts
- raise your profile with employers who are hiring
- learn more about the sector you’re aiming for
- find and apply for jobs
- get mentoring advice and career support from experienced professionals
LinkedIn have created a short video that shows the benefits of using the site.
Creating a Linkedin account
To sign up for a free Linkedin account you’ll need a professional sounding email address.
Once you have signed up, Linkedin will guide you through the process of completing a profile. You’ll appear in more searches and rank higher if you complete all sections of your profile. To develop your Linkedin profile and stand out to employers, you will need to:
After you have set up your profile, you can then start to:
Upload a digital photograph to Linkedin
Upload a recent image that shows you are trustworthy, professional and sincere. It should:
- be you on your own
- be set against a plain background
- have your face in the centre of the frame
- look professional - wear the sort of outfit you’d put on for an interview
- be a good quality picture, not blurry
Create your headline
You have 120 characters to create a headline to get a recruiter’s attention. You should use this opportunity to tell them:
- who you are
- what you do
- what you want to be
You must show employers the skills you have and the job you want.
Write your summary
Think of your summary on Linkedin as your chance to persuade and spark the interest of any businesses that’s hiring. You should use your summary on Linkedin to:
- tell your story
- show what you’re passionate about
- talk about what your goals are
When writing your summary you should also make sure to:
- write in the first person (use ‘I’ not ‘she’ or ‘he’ when talking about yourself)
- use phrases that show you have some knowledge of the sector
- include keywords
- end your summary with a ‘call to action’ - if you want employers to contact you, you could say ‘email me at [insert your email address]’
Add your work experience
When adding your work experience to your Linkedin you should Include details of any work placements, shadowing or internships.
Make your achievements at work stand out by using the STAR method.
You should also show examples of your work if you have online examples you can link to.
Highlight anything that’s relevant to the kind of job you want. Demonstrate the value you have added in the things you have done.
Show your volunteering experience
Let people know about any professional, impressive and related voluntary experience you have had. Volunteering shows commitment and can tell recruiters something about your values.
Sharing information about the causes that are really important to you helps to tell the story of who you are as a person. Employers are looking for people who will be ‘a good fit’ for their company.
Add your skills
You can add up to 50 skills on your Linkedin profile.
Don’t worry if you can’t find lots – just 10 that are linked to the job that you want to do is a good start. A minimum of 5 skills will have you appear in searches. The more skills you list, the higher up in searches you’ll appear.
Use our job profiles or take a look at vacancy advertisements to get to know the ones that are really important in the career you’re aiming for.
Give details about your education
Employers will want to know you have the level of qualifications they are looking for as well as seeing what you gained from your course of study.
Highlight any important achievements or aspects of your education that are particularly relevant to your career aim. Give details of anything impressive, like:
- winning an award
- getting a scholarship
- giving a presentation at a conference
- projects you’ve done really well in
- any positions of responsibility you’ve held
Connect with people on Linkedin
You should use Linkedin to build connections – the more you have, the more people can find you.
Start with friends, family and people you know at university or college.
Get endorsements for your skills – ‘back up’ from people you know, that you really can do the things you say you can.
When you meet people socially or through networking events, offer to connect with them. Your network will soon begin to grow.
It’s good to maintain your presence on Linkedin to get noticed by potential employers. To do this, you could:
- check LinkedIn every day like other social media sites
- like, comment and share articles and other people’s posts to get noticed by your connections
- create your own content to raise your profile
- join groups that are relevant for your chosen sector - your university careers service may have set up an alumni LinkedIn group to help when you first graduate
Find out more about using Linkedin
For more help and advice on using LinkedIn, take a look at their articles for students.