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The Power of LinkedIn by Nick Conway, Intern @ SELEP

Prior to starting university, I never had a LinkedIn profile. I’ll be totally honest and say I don’t think I really knew what LinkedIn was and thought it was just another social media; I was never aware of the benefits of having one. Nowadays it plays such a vital role for me with networking with my industry and finding new opportunities to strengthen and broaden my experience. Within this blog, we will be looking into the benefits of setting up a LinkedIn account and tips on how to make your profile stand out to recruiters.

LinkedIn is the largest business-oriented networking website specifically towards professionals. It has over 500 million members, in over 200 countries.  Networking and social media has now become the most popular and also effective way of not only securing a position but finding one. Over 65% of recruiters now use LinkedIn as the prime source of finding the perfect candidate. A professionally written LinkedIn profile allows you to create an online professional brand which can help open doors to opportunities and networks that you may not have been aware of without the help of social media. Recruiters are also using it to evaluate candidates, meaning how your LinkedIn looks could have a direct effect on increasing (or decreasing) your chances of successfully getting the job!

First Impressions Count

When a hiring manager or recruiter first reads your LinkedIn profile, they will typically form an opinion of you within the first 20 seconds. A professionally written and completed profile that includes up-to-date information about your skills and experience will automatically get the reader’s attention. Make sure you profile includes key achievements, examples of projects and value-added skills towards the top of your profile, which will further maintain the reader’s attention and create a positive first impression. Don’t forget to include a picture – this will help to humanise your profile and put a face behind the name. However, remember that your picture is a representation of you.

Recommendations

LinkedIn enables your peers to endorse your skills and write up recommendations, and you can do the same for them. People who are searching for networking connections or job candidates will take these recommendations into consideration.

Story Summary

The first thing to say about your LinkedIn summary is – make sure you have one! It’s amazing how many people still leave this field blank when creating their LinkedIn profile. Your summary is your chance to tell your own story – so don’t just use it to list your skills or the job titles you’ve had. Try to bring to life why those skills matter – and the difference they can make to the people you work with. Don’t be afraid to invest some time, try a few drafts, and run your summary past people you know. This is your most personal piece of content marketing – and it’s worth the effort.

Get Creative

When you create a profile, LinkedIn automatically assigns you a string of numbers as a URL, instead you should set a custom URL instead. Make sure your URL is easy for you to remember and share (because you should be sharing it a lot). Most commonly people will use their name and initials in some format, though you might need to get creative or add numbers if you have a more common name.