Most of you will be back at uni now for your final term! Eeek! So you should be thinking about getting prepped for breaking into industry for your first role or Summer internship. A good place to start? Your LinkedIn profile. It's an essential personal branding tool for you...If an employer likes the look of your CV, then 9/10 they will check out your LinkedIn profile. So how can you make sure yours stand out?
DO make first impressions count, visually. Your profile is an extension of your personal brand so you visually need to convey it. Start with the HEADER; please DO NOT just use the generic LinkedIn header! Get creative, yet clean and professional. What is your personal branding? Could it be just a colour, a collage of your images, a pattern or print, a scanned in fabric sample? For some inspo look at the YouTube channel headers of Bloggers, Vloggers, brands, artists etc. Secondly, your PROFILE image. Did you know that LinkedIn profiles with photos get 21x more views and 36x more messages?! Well, you do now! Please make sure your profile image is professional as possible! I know this is sometimes tricky if you don’t have a professional headshot and most of your images feature you with a G+T in your hand! But put some time into taking an image; take a headshot with a blank background or an image of you working. *PRO TIP*: If you have an image you think could work, then changing the image to black and white makes it look a lot more professional.
DO ensure your content SECTIONS are relevant, clear and to the point. Your LinkedIn profile is basically just a reformation of your CV. Think of it like your digital CV. These are your main sections to follow; HEADLINE; make sure it rounds you up as a creative or tells the employer what you do. Such as “Fashion Design Student" or "Content + Social Media Intern". SUMMARY; this is basically the profile section on your CV. Need a little help? I have written about how to write a perfect profile in this FYI guide. For your LinkedIn profile, make sure it's more than 40 words. MULTIMEDIA; you can upload your PDF portfolio or link to your site! So make sure you do this if you have these assets. EXPERIENCE; like your CV list all of your RELEVANT experience, please don’t list that you have worked at Nando’s! Make sure you briefly describe the role and your duties. Always make sure you have the company logo visible too; it looks a lot more professional. EDUCATION; just like your CV add in your most relevant education. SKILLS; this is one of the most important sections! Employers love to see SOFT and HARD skills. So really put sometime and thought into this. Refer to some relevant job role descriptions to give you some skills inspo. RECOMMENDATIONS; this is basically an employer reference and adding recommendations to your LinkedIn profile will make you seriously creditable. It’s like your seal of approval! Think about who you want to ask, write them a personal message and then send them a recommendation request. For info on how to do this, read this article. INTERESTS; it's great for brands to see who and what you are into. So start building this.
DO persistently build industry engagement and create industry connections. LinkedIn should serve as a networking platform for you. Make industry connections (always add personalised invitation requests) and build up your industry address book. Connect with the brands you love and employers that roles interest you. It’s key for potential employers to see you are active and have industry connections. The more connections you have, the higher your chances of appearing higher on search results; so 50+ connections is key.
DON'T neglect your profile! Always update, refresh and revise before every new role you apply to. Whether it’s via LinkedIn jobs or Find Your Intern, keeping on top of it is key. Adding content to your profile (such as experience) as YOU GO is so much easier than having to do it in one go. Trust me!
DON'T make a profile and disappear honey! You need to keep on top it so you don’t miss important messages etc. You also need to keep activity and engagement up. Just like any other social media app; don’t think of it as a chore. Just keep active!
DON'T skip sections or leave them unfinished. Your profile needs to be consistent and clear for employers. If they can see you have done it half heartedly; what does that say about you and your personal brand? Perfect it and create something that tells a narrative of YOU.