Perfecting your LinkedIn profile

There are currently over 6.5 million jobs on LinkedIn and 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to screen candidates across many different industries, so get a LinkedIn profile, keep it up-to-date and make sure it’s relevant to your job goal.

Not on LinkedIn?

Join LinkedIn and you’ll be prompted to do everything you need to get your profile started. It’s straightforward and it’s free.

LinkedIn Help provides further guidance on how to set up your profile. The Ultimate LinkedIn cheat-sheet on Leisurejobs.com is a great visual guide.

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Get noticed

Add a link to your LinkedIn profile on your CV. Most recruiters screen candidates using LinkedIn so make sure they can find you!

Include a professional-looking photo on your LinkedIn profile (A photo makes you 14 times more likely to be found on LinkedIn). LinkedIn provides some tips for a good profile photo.

Complete all of the available sections such as your Summary, Experience, Skills and Accomplishments. This increases your ranking in recruiters searches.

Add some relevant skills (Your profile is 17 times more likely to be viewed if you list at least 5 skills on your profile).

Check your privacy settings will allow recruiters to view your profile.

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Make a great first impression

Choose your words carefully in your Headline (the text under your name). It should describe you, reflect your experience, and be relevant to your current job goal. Perhaps something like ‘Business & Finance Graduate – First Class’ or ‘Experienced Software Engineer’. After you caught their eye with your photo, this the next thing they’ll notice.

Put some thought into your Summary. You could include a brief explanation about who you are, your main achievements, skills, qualities or experience you will bring, and your career aim. Don’t save the best bits for later. If your Summary isn’t ‘selling’ you, then it’s ‘game over’.

Get inspired. You could use your Personal Profile from your CV to help get your Summary started. Look at some job descriptions for roles that interest you and describe yourself in a way that fits those roles as closely as possible. Look at other people’s LinkedIn profiles (such as classmates, or colleagues from your work placement).

Avoid generic statements that could apply to anyone, such as ‘hardworking individual, able to work independently or as part of a team.’ Yawn. Try to stand out from other applicants (in a good way).

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Keep their attention

Showcase your achievements. Your LinkedIn profile is much more than just an online CV. You can upload photos, videos and links to academic projects, extra-curricular activities or other impressive stuff to help bring your profile to life.

Detail your experience. In your Experience section, don’t just include dates and job titles. Add a brief description of any duties or relevant achievements which went beyond just doing your day-to-day job.

Read everything you’ve written carefully. Double check your spelling and grammar to show them what great attention to detail you have (If you’d like us to review your profile and give you feedback, get in touch: MDXworks@mdx.ac.uk).

Keep your profile up-to-date with your latest job-role and achievements. Recruiters will lose interest if they think they’re reading ancient history.

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Get more from your LinkedIn profile

Provide your connections with Recommendations and Endorsements. This will encourage them to return the favour. Any testimonials you receive will be more convincing than making your own unsupported claims.

Tip for MDX students / graduates: If you Recommend MDXworks, we can provide you with a great Recommendation, which your connections and potential employers can see (You’ll need to Connect with us first before you can Recommend us). 

Join relevant groups and follow organisations on LinkedIn that you’d like to work for. You may receive news about graduate jobs, as well as increasing your commercial awareness (which often separates the winning applicants from the unsuccessful). Show your interest in your chosen industry by sharing relevant posts.

Grow your network of contacts by making ‘Connections’ with other LinkedIn users. Find people you know and maintain contact with classmates, alumni, colleagues, recruiters and employers of the past, present and future, you never know when a connection might provide a Recommendation or ‘put in a good word’ at their workplace. New to networking? LinkedIn provides guides to help students with networking.

Get to know your interviewers. If you’re preparing for an interview and you know the names of your interviewers, you may like to look at their LinkedIn profiles to help you build rapport in your interview and help with your research about the team / organisation.

Get job notifications. As well as browsing or searching for jobs, you can also set up your job preferences to let recruiters know that you’re currently looking for opportunities and to receive alerts about jobs which match your preferences.

Research

Need more help?

LinkedIn provides lots of useful guides specifically for students and graduates: The ‘Student Job Hunting Handbook’ series, includes useful tips on job-searching, networking and succeeding at interviews.You may also like to read The Guardian guide: ‘Students: how to use LinkedIn at uni to help you get a job when you graduate’.

Take a look at tips and guidance on MDXworks.com (Use your MyUniHub ID and password to log in) including our ‘Unmissable guide to improving your LinkedIn profile’ and LinkedIn Profile Example’.

If you’re a current student or graduate of MDX, get your LinkedIn profile reviewed by MDXworks (please include an explanation of who you are, tell us your MDX student ID number and explain your job goal).

Tip for MDX students / graduates: Connect with MDXWorks on LinkedIn so we can keep you updated with the latest graduate opportunities and employability news.

By Matt Lewis, MDXWorks On-Campus / Online, Middlesex University

 

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