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THE LINKEDIN BASICS FOR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

THE LINKEDIN BASICS FOR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

LinkedIn has essentially become the Facebook of the employment world. Having a profile adds another layer to the job interview process, where first impressions can be the last impression.

Enter a virtual reality where a scroll through your profile can tell a recruiter if you are going to be an asset or a liability. Like everything on social media, there is a fine art involved with mastering this growing platform. Be aware that LinkedIn is like no other social media experience and there is a fine etiquette involved when using this cybernetic resume.

LinkedIn is the largest professional social networking website for the employment world. Hosting over 400 million members internationally, it has fast replaced the conventional hiring methods of a physical cover letter and resume.

The process of writing a personalised cover letter for each job application can be time consuming and often difficult for job hunters. So it isn't hard to see why this popular network has replaced redundant and prehistoric hiring methods.

LinkedIn 101

Whether it is on a resume, cover letter or one of your countless social media accounts, it is essential to always sell yourself. With seven billion people in this world, you have to be unique and creative with how you stand out from the rest. There is no question that the job hunt has the potential to be brutal, with only the ruthless and strong making it to the final round. Presenting your capabilities and potential positively in the most colourful, exaggerated lights can be the difference in getting the callback or not.

The following five points are a must on any Linkedin profile:

  1. Your name (that’s obviously a given)
  2. A headshot that showcases your professionalism & confidence
  3. The city and location you're established in
  4. Professional headline or industry you're employed in
  5. A summary of your current work goals and objectives

Don’t hesitate to add a stranger?

This public forum has a sole purpose to aid your uphill trajectory towards career success. Unlike Facebook where accidentally liking someone's photo can send you into a mental breakdown, LinkedIn encourages this initiative to foster the formation of professional relationships.

It has an ability to allow you to connect to relevant, employed individuals in your desired industry. This priceless networking tool virtually allows you to meet people who have the potential to share in employment opportunities and industry interests.

This function alone is extremely beneficial in maximising your network and improving your chances of becoming successful in your career. Showing recruiters that you're active with team members, managers or CEOs of your industry strengthens your chances of being hired.

So don’t be scared or ever hesitate in adding complete strangers because this is the whole purpose of LinkedIn!

Beware!

Observing expert accounts with a plethora of skills, habits and experiences can easily give you mad LinkedIn envy. Using these as a template for your own profile can be a sure fire way to create a unique page that engages the eye of any recruiter.

Unlike other social media platforms where you can be covert and subtle in your account stalking, LinkedIn puts it out to the world. If you have a free account, you cannot choose to be anonymous in your account viewing activities. Be aware that each time you click or refresh someone’s page, they receive a notification that informs them that you have viewed their account.

This feature has the power to be a curse because if it tells them you've gone onto their profile six or more times, then it's not a good look for you. Luckily, many accounts are still visible when you log out of LinkedIn. Simply search for the person’s name on Google after you log out and see how quickly you can find the person you are looking for. 

Like any social media account, there is a fine art that needs to be mastered to excel in these platforms. Knowing these basic and essential LinkedIn features is the first step you can take in improving your career prospects. These insights are a key advantage that can take your LinkedIn profile from beginner to expert status in no time!

WORDS BY JOSEPH RAGUSA

Feature Image: LinkedIn's Facebook Page

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