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5 ways to land your dream job with LinkedIn

13th March 2014
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LinkedIn, the social media site for grown-ups, is celebrating hitting 15 million members this week.

With students being LinkedIn’s fastest growing demographic but two thirds still feeling unprepared for the world of work, now seems a good time for the site’s career experts to offer their tips on how you can go about bagging a job via your online profile. Read on...

Tip 1: Pick a good picture.

Uploading a picture to your profile picture means you’ll be 11 times more likely to be viewed, so remember - no party pics, no avatars – just you, looking sharp.

Tip 2: Write a good headline

Your headline gives you the opportunity not just to sum up who you are but what you want from your career. Keep it short and memorable so that it stands out in search results, e.g. ‘BA student seeking marketing position’ is more relevant to an employer than simply ‘currently studying for a marketing BSc at XYZ’. Avoid anything too personal (i.e. Cat lover, Lager connoisseur) and anything too clever (i.e. marketing ninja) as it will just put employers off.

Tip 3: Talk up your education

We know you’ve got qualifications, but sell yourself. Don’t just list where you studied, tell potential employers what skills you developed, and any extra classes you attended. This is an opportunity to really talk up any transferable skills that will be attractive to an employer. Setting up a committee at university, for example, will demonstrate your leadership skills and make you stand out from others.

Tip 4: List your experience

If you’re looking for your first job, chances are you’ve little to no experience that is directly ‘relevant’ to the role your applying to. But that does not make the experience you have invalid.  Use LinkedIn’s jobs search tool to look through job descriptions of opportunities you’re interested in and pick out the key skills that are needed. Chances are you have some of these skills – time-management, organisation, team-work and flexibility – so demonstrate these skills under past part-time jobs, volunteering, awards and achievements or even extra-curricular activities. But keep it professional e.g.  “Produced Hamlet” – Yes, “Volunteering in Kenya” – Yes, “Ladies’ man” – No!

Tip 5: Get some recommendations

A strong recommendation or endorsements from those who have worked with you highlights your strengths and shows that you were a valued employee. Ask past managers, mentors or lecturers to recommend you on LinkedIn. Recommendations are an impressive addition to your profile, and allow prospective employers to read how brilliant others think you are. That can be pretty powerful.

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