Author: Chantal Haynes- Curley
As your network grows it can be difficult to keep in contact with everyone and connections can become lost quite easily. That is why it is important to establish and maintain an online presence that will support ongoing communication and engagement with your network.
LinkedIn is an excellent platform which allows you to engage daily with your network and manage your brands presence online. If you do not already have an account, you should set one up.
Setting up your LinkedIn profile
Focus on key skills: Employers will often search for keywords that relate to the role they are looking to fill, so it is important to feature industry terms in your profile—and clearly state your skills.
Be clear in your accomplishments: clearly communicate your achievements in a measured way – this could be academic, work related, personal development, voluntary activities. Outline your experience in a way that is clearly linked to the development of your skills.
Complete your profile: Think of the message you are sending out in advertising an unfinished product. Now think of it in the context of your product being your personal brand. A vast amount of people make this mistake to their detriment. Make sure to include all relevant information relating to your academic and professional background, voluntary work, and relevant hobbies.
Use a personal summary : LinkedIn provides resources on how to write an impactful summary which you can find here. Your summary is an important part of pitching your brand, it is unique to you and gives a snapshot of your personality, values and motivations.Connect your abilities and skills to your current career and your career trajectory to develop your personal statement. e.g. Currently I am using my interpersonal skills (Transferrable skill) and management skills (Technical skill) to help XXX a charitable organisation manage their finances. This is a voluntary role which allows me to apply my knowledge and skills and I am eager to secure a trainee role where I can continue to support organisational process and provide clients with professional, service and guidance supporting financial and business needs .
Use a professional photo - users with a professional headshot receive 14 times more profile views than those without. If you don’t have a professional headshot, create your own! Use a current photo that’s closely cropped to your face. Keep the background neutral and smile.