A few LinkedIn tips to get you started
LinkedIn hasn’t replaced the traditional CV just yet but these days, it’s a critical part of any graduate application process. The first thing many employers will do when you apply is search for you on LinkedIn. If you’re absent, or your profile or photo aren’t great, then it doesn’t make a great impression. Here are some tips from your team at Cruncher to make the most of your LinkedIn profile:
1. Lookin’ good
LinkedIn isn’t Facebook; it’s built for a totally different audience. Make sure your photo is fit for purpose – avoid bad hair days, that photo you took outside that nightclub or the one with you and your friends on that great night out. Avoid selfies if you can. A nice headshot (head and shoulders) in professional dress will hit the spot. Don’t look at the camera face on (like those convict photos in the movies) – instead, tilt your body slightly to give the right profile. And most importantly, smile!
2. Summary section first
Create a detailed yet snappy summary section. Recruiters and hiring managers use key words to search LinkedIn and it’s a game you should play. Use your summary section to hit as many of the key words as you can, key words that are relevant to the jobs you want to be discovered for. Don’t be shy about being strategic. Do you want to work in corporate finance? Then say it in your summary section and you will come up in searches for “graduate” and “corporate finance”. Do you want to work in audit or in tax? Say it in your summary section. Are you currently looking for a trainee accountant role? Say it in your summary section. Eight to 10 lines hitting some of the key points about you and your interests/aspirations can really you get discovered.
3. Experience up next
This section should mirror the experience section on your CV with bullet points under your relevant internships and just the dates and job titles/employer on your not-so-relevant experience in the local shop (which is important to include, but not important to detail). It’s likely that you won’t have a huge amount by way of experience (you’re a graduate, after all) but it’s important to make sure you can demonstrate some experience in a working environment.
4. Education follows
This it pretty important – LinkedIn allows employers to search under university and year so make sure you don’t miss out! Include any results you’re proud of from Leaving Cert. to Masters results.
5. Other stuff – it matters
In another Cruncher blog, we explained how extracurricular activity is a key thing that companies look out for in graduate CVs. LinkedIn is no different, so provide the headlines on any extra activities you were involved in from sport to volunteering to clubs and societies in college. This stuff really helps.
6. One last tip
LinkedIn works on the ‘degree of separation’ concept – the more relevant connections you have, the more likely you are to appear in a search. With that in mind, once your profile is live, don’t be shy about connecting with your classmates, your lecturers, the old boss you had on an internship, and with recruiters that hire trainee accountants. You can even connect with the Cruncher team to get a second degree connection with thousands of accountants! Follow companies you’re interested in (if you apply for a job, you could follow that company on LinkedIn and really wow the hiring mangers when they check your profile), connect with interviewers before/after an interview and join relevant groups. The more relevant connections you have on LinkedIn, the more likely you’ll be discovered through LinkedIn. And remember, your profile will likely be for life so start as you mean to continue.
If you follow these tips, you’ll have the beginning of a great LinkedIn profile and plenty of connections to get you started. LinkedIn itself has plenty of good tips on its site for setting up your profile, so spend time doing a little extra research and making sure you make the most of this great tool.