By Mia Casey
After being bought by Microsoft at the end of last year, LinkedIn is seeing an increase in popularity amongst businesses. “That’s all well and good,” I hear you say (implicit eye-roll included), “but how is that helpful to me?” Well, as a university student who is (hopefully) looking to land an awesome job in your future, start your own business, or just be informed about the industry you’re in, this makes LinkedIn a very desirable place to be if you want to stand out to employers or fellow industry professionals.
We’ve done a number of posts about LinkedIn before (one even include some pretty hectic cat gifs), but with this change it’s important to understand how to interact with the platform to get the most benefit from it. After all, just letting it sit there amidst the millions of other LinkedIn accounts isn’t going to do you any favours.
Connect with more employers
With more organisations joining the LinkedIn bandwagon to engage in (largely) B2B conversations, this is a great opportunity to start engaging as an individual. While many may not be actively looking for staff, creating a positive reputation for yourself, engaging with different organisations’ posts, and providing intelligent insight into what’s being shared is a great way to get your name recognised.
As more businesses are posting with the intention of connecting with other businesses, building a reputation for positively engaging with industry posts and shares increases the likelihood that multiple employers will see your contribution. After all, if Company A follows Company B who follows Company C on LinkedIn, and you’re commenting on posts from each of them? They’re going to see it, and they’re going to be much more likely to remember you.
Now obviously this doesn’t mean you spam every post companies you follow share, but being active on LinkedIn can definitely have its benefits. Whether you’re posting your own content, or commenting on other people’s, it is increasingly common for employers to hire or (at least) connect with talented individuals they stumble across on their feed.
Expand on your resume
Unlike your resume, your LinkedIn profile is the perfect place to expand on your skills and experience when building your profile. While resumes usually limit you to including 3-5 dot points of information per experience listed in the ‘Employment History’ section, LinkedIn gives you the space to go into more detail.
The ‘Experience’ section on your LinkedIn page lets you talk about what you have achieved, what tasks your current role covers, and any other information you may deem pertinent in describing your previous (or current) roles. Basically you can treat this section as you would a resume, minus the strict 3-5 point rule. While you don’t want to be writing pages and pages, you can use full sentences and more descriptive language within this space.
And remember: including the URL of your LinkedIn profile in your job applications means that interested employers will likely look at your profile, and be able to see how much experience you’ve had, beyond what you have had space to mention in your resume.
Learn about your industry
LinkedIn runs an ‘invitation only’ program that enables certain members to become LinkedIn Influencers. These are people that the LinkedIn curators have noted as being ‘the world’s foremost thinkers, leaders, and innovators’. When you’re setting up your profile (and later on in your feed), you may have had such people suggested to you to follow, based on your selected industry and interests.
The good thing about following influencers in your industry, is that they are generally very active on the platform and are enthusiastic in posting thought-provoking and relevant content specific to their field. If you happen to be in that same field, this is a great way to get curated content that may be highly relevant to your career interests.
Not only is this information handy to have as you navigate your industry, but by engaging on these posts you are likely to come across others in your field that you may be able to connect with. (Plus, it makes you seem very clever and wide-read if you can discuss the latest developments in your industry the next time you’re at a networking event or chatting at the proverbial ‘water cooler’ with your colleague).
Want to another great way to get your name out into the career-world? Want to be noticed in your industry before you even graduate? Then be sure to apply for the GradConnection’s Top100 Future Leaders Competition 2018!
This Competition mimics the recruitment process at industry-leading organisations. Not only will you have the opportunity to connect with these employers, but the winners will also have their names featured in the Australian Financial Review, and WIN some pretty awesome industry-specific prizes.
Be quick! Applications close on September 14th 2017. Click here to enter or find out more – good luck!
Featured image courtesy of Pexels.