January 6, 2015, by Charlotte Lambert
Are you LinkedIn?
By Charlotte Lambert, student blogger
These days everything seems to be making its way onto the internet and the CV is following suit. A single sheet of A4 paper, now a thing of the past. The only question remaining, ‘are you LinkedIn?’.
When I first heard about this I was beguiled at the very concept. My initial thought being, Facebook for businesses? I had no idea how this would ever have an impact on my life. After all, who do I know in the business world? After hearing how a friend of mine had been approached through her LinkedIn profile by a big firm with a job offer, I thought that I would take an active role and sign up. Being proactive in your own branding is an inspiring feeling. CVs offer only a shortened version of everything that you have done and know. Be brief, be concise, be compact. But LinkedIn offers the freedom to expand by going into depth and explaining how a particular activity benefited you, and potentially how you benefited the activity.
It is important when setting up your LinkedIn profile to consider the audience that you will be addressing, help with this can be found through the University. An informal tone may be great for a Facebook post or tweet, but it would certainly be out of place on your academic profile. Ideally you are presenting your most refined and professional self. This is what I had to bear in mind when finding the balance between being too reserved concerning my skill bank and being too brash.
The process and pace are entirely up to you. Add work connections, experiences and skills at your own leisure. You could also consider scanning any certificates or letters of commendation as references. It’s all well and good to talk about your academic background, but having certifiable proof of it can only support your credibility.
Networking is fundamental in the business world, by raising your online presence you are opening yourself up for future opportunities. As the world’s largest professional network, it is a great forum not only for maintaining communication with contacts but also for raising your commercial awareness. To make your profile personal try adding a profile photo – and not a Facebook photo taken at that party last week! Sounds like an obvious one but I thought that it was better safe than sorry to mention it! The information that you write about yourself tells a lot, but the phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ says it all. The idea being to make your individuality stand out and not get lost in the crowd.
Here is a blog from LinkedIn that I found useful when setting up my own profile, ‘Creating a Killer LinkedIn Profile‘.