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Careers Advice: LinkedIn Edition


As you may have gathered from previous posts I am employed by my university's Career Development Centre. Whilst I am not employed as a Career Advisor (and I am not a substitute for one) the amount of information I see whilst looking after their social media is pheneomenal. So I have decided to share my knowledge.

Because of the sheer volume of stuff I see I will need to break it down into smaller parts within a series. As we are all bloggers and naturally oh-so-wonderfully skilled with the modern day version of making friends, social media, I am going to start off with a run down of the professional networking site LinkedIn.

A snapshot of my LinkedIn profile that can be found here (feel free to network!)


As important as a traditional CV and covering letter are (you should never forget about those!) having a LinkedIn profile opens you up to new opportunities by allowing you to network, search for the woman that has your dream job and allow employers to find you. However caution cannot be forgotten about and one must remember some points. 

This is not Facebook or Twitter: However this depends on how you use Facebook or Twitter. My Facebook is completely private for a reason. Not only does it show my weekly and even daily movements (which would be a stalker's paradise) it's also where my drunken photos end up. Whilst I do not lead the most raucous of lifestyles, I still wouldn't want an employer seeing my drunken pout. It is sometimes recommended that you should link your Twitter to develop your personal brand however I choose not to. My Twitter is public but I use it to tell the world about the new dress I just purchased or what I ate for lunch. Whilst these tweets won't ruin my career they don't add much to it either. I may add it eventually, but not today. If you keep a professional approach on all social networking sites then link away, but if not keep it isolated. 

Make your headline stand out: The headline is the bit beside your profile picture. Whilst most people have it set as their current job title you have to ponder if this the best option. You may be a "Shop Assistant at Primark" but something tells me you're heading for bigger things than that, baby! What you want to be is much more ideal. "Final year Business Management Student on track for first-class honours" is much more likely to grab a HR professionals attention. Own your own small business? List that! Even if it's just an Etsy shop! Run a popular blog? You're editor in chief! I don't have an official job title where I work so I got creative and called myself a "Social Media Assistant" even though I'm regularly introduced as "the girl who updates the Facebook".

You have more experience than you think: One problem with a young person entering the job market is that you don't have nearly as much experience as that of a 40-year-old CEO with three degrees and a small dog walking business on the side. However if you think properly you can find the necessary experience! As I said Etsy, blogging and doing small freelance work counts as employment (even if it is unpaid, or pays very little). If you manage to create a popular blog than it shows communication (verbal if you do vblogs!) marketing skills, consumer awareness and creativity! The same with an Etsy shop. But again be careful that your blog reflects your professional image. I do not currently list "Editor-in-chief at Mo'Adore" as it currently isn't swarming with activity but may one day when I call it successful. Also think about societies you're involved in and helping hands you may have lent to friends.

However, you don't need to list everything: Like a traditional CV only put it on if it's relevant! When I first got LinkedIn I was going into my second year of university and had little experience so listed that time I helped pour juice at a kids club my mum helped at. Or the five day school work experience I did at a clothing store. I have now since removed them. If you are genuinely struggling to list experience then maybe you can take this as a sign to make some! 

Get over your "privacy" issues: LinkedIn shows where you went to school, what you current study and where you might work. Plus, any small business ventures you've done. You might have even included your grades. It's pretty transparent. As uncomfortable as this may make some people feel you have to accept that this is the 21st century and we are Generation Y. The world is changing and this is part of it. No one's asking you to start a blog showing the world what you wore every day but what's wrong with having relevant people know where you went to Secondary School? Very few people are raging murderous stalkers. Those who don't get Facebook miss out on fun events and important updates in friend's lives, and those not on LinkedIn miss out on possibly the career of their dreams!

Don't just leave it: Just cause you now have a LinkedIn profile with all details filled out, a fancy tagline and not linked to anything inappropriate doesn't mean Sir Alan is going to hire you! You need to connect. Add people you know: old classmates, work colleagues, old bosses, family, friends and people who have a foot in the door of the company you'd love to work for. Join groups about your industry and university. Follow companies you'd like to work for. Also remember to update it (it's recommended your status is updated every week with something career orientated).

Other Linkedin articles of interest:
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