To get your first job, a good LinkedIn profile is now as essential as a suit or a great resume. Here are the top 4 things that you need to ...
To get your first job, a good LinkedIn profile is now as essential as a suit or a great resume. Here are the top 4 things that you need to make sure you get right .
By Karn G. Bulsuk
Guys, listen up. If you have a LinkedIn profile, you’re doing the right thing. But it’s not enough to have a LinkedIn profile, you need to have a good one – one which represents you in the most professional way possible.
Unfortunately, I too often see a series of basic mistakes that students often make in crafting their profile. To make sure that recruiters don’t ignore you for the wrong reasons, here are the top 4 things you simply must get right:
1) Use a professional photo
People judge you based on how you look, even if it’s a 300 pixel photo on the internet. If you look the part, the more likely you’ll get the job.
What this basically means is, don’t use a photo from Facebook where you’re kissing a Pooh Bear. Also, I recommend against using a picture where you’ve used your smartphone to take a photo of your university ID card photo. It’s quite obvious little effort has been put into it and let’s face it – these photos don’t tend to portray you at your best.
Instead, dress up in business attire and get a headshot professionally taken. To save a bit of money, you can always get it done by asking one of your friends who knows their way around a DSLR camera. And remember to smile – it’s easier to form a connection when you smile at someone.
2) Spelling is important!
I once saw a profile where a student wrote that in her part-time job, she “organised customers odors and transport.”
While this choice of words may smell funny, remember when someone is looking at a couple of equally qualified resumes and is using LinkedIn as the final decision maker of who to hire, this may lose you the job.
Many of my connections are non-native English speakers, and I understand the challenges they have. Sometimes all you need to do is ask someone with higher English proficiencies to look over your profile for you – university professors, your careers office or even fellow students who have a good grasp of the language are usually more than happy to help you create a great profile.
3) Does it all make sense?
I saw a profile where their university had been listed twice: once saying they graduated, one saying they were still studying. Such confusion is never good! For example, if a graduate recruiter looks at your profile, they may choose to not contact you as they assume you’re still finishing your course, or worse, assume that you’re going to graduate late.
4) And finally: Remember to keep it professional
LinkedIn is your advertising platform to promote your personal brand. It is not Facebook, so if you’re going to share something, keep it professional and business focussed.
Think twice before posting strong opinions, or any opinions at all. Recruiters are human, and if they don’t like what you’re saying, they may not give you a chance.
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For all of you out there working to get into the workforce: good luck, and see you soon!