The living breathing CV : here are my final top tips for optimising your LinkedIn account:
Honours and Awards
If you’ve got them: V inspired awards, society awards etc go here.
Only put adult awards here. The skipping relay you won at age 6, not relevant.
These are GOLDEN. If you don’t have any work experience this is where you make up for it. Projects – you wrote a blog on your area of interest, you designed graphics for a friend, you took part in collaborative projects like those run by Collabhub. If you don’t need fillers and have a great catalogue of work behind you, pick four that show a varied or specialised skill set and put the rest into a professional blog. Make sure people know there’s even more to you.
If you’re a freelancing nugget like me it’s probably best not to list your short term work as separate jobs. It can make a profile look messy and it can also make it look like you run from jobs and responsibility. Collate your jobs under a single job title to show you’ve managed several clients’ projects. So it turns out you’ve been awesome for a few years? Well done. Go you. Now let’s put that summary to work. What do you have to offer? What skills do you have? What are your expertise? You’ve actually been a ninja professional for a while you just didn’t know it!
Work Experience & Volunteering
Now think about this carefully. Volunteering or Projects? Just because you did something for free doesn’t mean it has to go under the volunteering heading. If it’s career relevant and your profile needs a boost then it’s a project. There’s no harm in putting a few charity things in here or causes you care about.
Build your contacts
If you’re just looking to build up your connections, blind addition can work for you (Adding without the introduction/ never met before etc). If you’re looking to build up meaningful connections you can personalise your message and really use LinkedIn to its full potential. Talking to the experts and asking for their advice can be career gold.
Interact with other people in your area of work/interest by using groups to connect up with new people and learn more, groups tend to be full of advice. Introduce yourself, ask questions and interact.
Use updates to promote your work as it’s released, press releases/events/ blogs etc. Using updates means your connections can see your news too (remember those impressive experts you added – they may see it too!)
Let us know how you get along and add the careers team on LinkedIn to get our latest news and updates.
Abigail McAlpine is our Careers and Employability Events Placement Student.