By Ashley Cahillane, Linkedin Expert, Sli Nua Careers
1. Profile photograph
A profile photograph is a must for your LinkedIn profile. Make sure the photograph is business-like (dress like you would for an interview) – definitely no selfies here. Having a good profile picture helps a potential employer to put a face to the name. It also demonstrates your intent to show case yourself professionally, writes ASHLEY CAHILLANE, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers.
2. Profile headline
Typically this is the section where you would state your job title. A job-searching college graduate should add titles of desired jobs. Check out what people in your industry are calling themselves and add those titles to your headline (don’t be afraid to add more than one). You can do this by going into edit profile. Add a job title to your headline then click on the pencil on your headline – a box will appear. Click on the line that says “See what other users in your industry are using”.
The summary section is the opportunity to state who you are, your qualifications, your skills set and, finally, that you’re seeking employment in your professional area. Don’t be afraid to tell the reader your professional goals. Any major achievements should be added to this section also.
Here you detail your qualifications – until you get some real work experience behind you in your chosen field, this section will need to be more detailed. As your work experience grows, you can update your profile to focus less on the education and more on the experience. Add the title of your qualification and the college where you achieved it. Give an outline of modules covered throughout the course. It’s up to yourself if you want to include your overall grade but if you got first class honours – definitely put that down.
5. Work Experience
You might not have had a ‘real job’ yet but almost all graduates will have had some sort of job, be it bar tending, waitress, or shop assistant but to name a few. Don’t be afraid to include this experience, especially all the skills you learned during that time – for example, responsible for stock take, customer service, customer complaints and so on. Don’t leave anything important out like promotions or, most importantly, college work placements. Your potential employers are not mind readers.
If you have followed steps 1-5 you’re already on the path to creating a LinkedIn profile that will make you stand out to employers and recruiters. Next start connecting with people. Start with school and college friends, family and from that you will find your network will grow. Don’t be afraid to join relevant groups on LinkedIn or share relevant articles – just remember nothing tasteless. Contact us today at any of our offices, e: firstname.lastname@example.org if you need your existing LinkedIn profile improved, or if you wish to start from scratch.
Ashley Cahillane is a Career Coach with Sli Nua Careers, who have offices in Galway, Dublin, Limerick, Athlone, Sligo and Mayo, plus a full online service. Their services include CV preparation, interview training, personal statements and application forms.