Written by Teegan Groves
I’m sure the large majority of you reading this are aware of what LinkedIn is. However, in case you weren’t aware, LinkedIn is “the world’s largest professional network with hundreds of millions of members” with a mission “to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful”.
Being able to properly use and utilise this digital networking platform can help excel your career. It is encouraged that no matter what year of university you are, you should set up your own LinkedIn account as soon as possible. This article is here to assist you in creating the most appealing account in order to create those much desired networks.
Setting up the account
First things first, let’s get your account set up. It’s important to remember that your profile is your own personal brand, so you want to ensure you present a professional manner whilst still making it engaging and compelling. Ensure that your profile photo is just of yourself and is of high quality. It may even be worth getting some of your media and communications friends to help you take the photo.
You can add your own little bit of spice through your bio. There are no guidelines on how to compile this bio, however, make sure it is snappy and concise but not lacking in information. Show that you are confident in yourself and your abilities, and don’t be afraid to show personality. Once completed with the bio, let’s add a banner image. Now this can be anything, however obviously some options are more suited than others. Some examples include, what your profession is, an image of you in the workplace, a patterned background or even create your own on Canva.
It’s also very important to include in your profile your previous experience, your location, what industry you’re in, and a minimum of four personal skills. It’s important to ensure this information isn’t vague. Be sure to add as much detail as possible through descriptive words and examples. You shouldn’t just state that you work well within a team or that you’re an effective communicator, provide previous experience and examples of you where you applied these skills. This is your opportunity to truly show that you are capable of your stated qualities. Uploading examples of work completed can also showcase your portfolio of work and essentially help give a competitive edge over others competing for the same job.
It’s vital you follow all these step and successfully setup and complete your account as LinkedIn’s algorithm favour completed profiles, with these profiles getting up to 20 times more views.
The account is setup, it’s time to start networking
I know it can be scary to put yourself out there, especially as a student. However, LinkedIn is an excellent platform to do so. Once your account is completed, it’s time to start connecting with others.
First of you’ll be recommended certain individuals to connect with according to your email account and iPhone contacts. Be sure to add these contacts to start building your connections list. Also add Mediamap Brisbane to start making industry specific connections. It is also recommended to ask fellow class members for their LinkedIn account, as well as tutors and lecturers, to help build your personal network. In addition to this, don’t be afraid to search through LinkedIn’s suggested contacts, you come across many new connections. This allows you to not only gain access to other’s personal profile but also to their connections. Use this to your advantage and have a view of who your connections have connections to. Just remember, don’t be hesitant to add someone… everyone does it!
I know this may sound daunting, but it’s recommended to add people you may not necessarily know. The whole point of LinkedIn is to connect with people that you want to get to know. Whether it’s someone you would like to work for, or an individual who works in a similar sector to you, if you believe it would be beneficial to connect with someone – you should! It’s very important when reaching out to a new connection that you make a good first impression through customizing your request. Don’t just default it and say “I would like to connect with you”, make it impactful and personal. You are able to do this by clicking the three dots on their profile, where is says ‘personalise invite’.
Within LinkedIn you are able to join groups. This is an excellent way to network as these groups allow you to discuss and meet with those who have similar interests. You are able to join up to 100 groups, meaning a plethora of connections of people interested in your interests. You can find these groups by merely using the search bar and clicking on ‘join group’ once you have found one you want to be a part of. Once added, be sure to introduce yourself as a new member and let them know why you are interested in the topic of the group.
I hope this article encourages you to setup your own LinkedIn account and successfully become a networking whiz.