As a student you are slowly becoming more familiar with the business industry. During this phase of your life, there are many decisions to be made regarding your future career. In an increasingly competitive labour market, the way you present yourself is more important than ever. Therefore, we sat down with Lonneke Korenromp and Maaike Wesseling of FEWEB Career Services to talk about the platform that offers you the opportunity to stand out in the war for talent: LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a social platform that allows you to build a virtual network and present yourself to the business community. It is the place were recruiters and job seekers come together. On LinkedIn you can follow the careers of people you are connected with and also track the activities of companies of your interest. In addition, you can find many different vacancies. Above all, it is the platform to stay professionally connected with people all around the world.
Become a member
It is highly important to start building a professional network in the last phase of your bachelor. LinkedIn helps you to connect and stay connected to people you meet professionally. A regular account is sufficient at this point as the benefits of a premium account are not worth the money (yet).
Your profile is your business card. Everything you add to your CV, can be added to your LinkedIn profile. It is important to reflect your personality and build a personal brand. The question you should ask yourself is: how do I want people to see me?
Tip 1: A more comprehensive profile will lead to better searching results. Recruiters are searching using keywords that are related to the position they need to fulfil and its qualifications.
The algorithm of LinkedIn depends on the percentage of fullness of a profile, the size of a network, the match, the amount of endorsements and more. The more matches your profile has with the keywords used by the recruiter, the higher your rank. Furthermore, the algorithm is changing over time with the effect that online tricks, like obtaining the highest rank, become useless over time.
It is possible to have both a Dutch and an English profile. If you use a Dutch profile, it is important not to translate English jargon into Dutch. Dutch recruiters will often use English keywords for Dutch positions as well, such as Human Resources.
Tip 2: An appropriate picture is an absolute must. Upload a picture with a mid-shot of yourself. Take a relaxing pose and use a calm background. Do NOT use a selfie and do NOT cut a picture of you and others.
It is important to distinguish yourself from other people by clearly stating your unique skills and qualities.
Tip 1: Add an elevator pitch to your profile. State your goals, ambitions and drive.
Tip 2: Add unique experiences. Give information about your responsibilities, achievements, trainings you have followed and specific skills you have acquired. If you are interested in a specific position, you can add relevant courses to your study information.
Tip 3: Make yourself visible by becoming a member of a group. Post things you are working on and that you are proud of. Answer questions of other group mates about your field of interest.
Tip 4: Start a blog on your profile, or provide a link to the blog. By writing a blog, you can show your interest in a specific field and present yourself as a specialist.
Deciding which people to invite or accept is a personal choice. Unknown, known, friends, study mates, professors – whatever person you think might be valuable in the long term is worth connecting to.
Tip 1: When you would like to invite people who do not know you, you should send a personal message in addition to the invitation. This is not a direct job request, but an explanation of why you would like to connect with that person. As a result, the threshold to accept your invite will be lower. This is also useful when connecting with recruiters.
Tip 2: To stay connected, you can like postings and send personal messages. For example, you can congratulate someone on getting a new job or ask to catch up over a coffee.
You only get once chance to make a first impression – this saying also counts in the online world. Your LinkedIn profile is about you and thus should clearly reflect your interests and ambitions. Try to find the right balance between enthusiasm and professionalism and don’t be afraid to express your aspirations. Start creating your own opportunities by building an online social network today!