August 28, 2015, by Laura Estrop
LinkedIn for Chinese students: top seven tips
By Cindy Cheung, BA Finance, Accounting and Management (graduated 2007)
Social media sites such as Weibo, Facebook and Twitter are mainly used for personal posts and your connections with friends. LinkedIn however, is now primarily used for business purposes and connections. This division can easily separate our business and friend networks effectively. Yet it is important to remember that if a potential employer searches for you on LinkedIn, they may also search for you on other social media sites too. LinkedIn offers many great ways to control who sees what as well as providing an effective way of promoting yourself. It is important to remember that you must make sure that you remain professional if posting publically or ensure that your privacy settings only allow your friends to see personal information.
Here are my top seven tips for using LinkedIn to the full.
Set who can see what in your profile
You can easily control the accessibility of information provided to viewers through your settings. For example, if you are linked to someone directly, they are able to see your whole profile; if someone knows you through a common friend, they are able to see certain things in your profile.
Promote yourself, more than a two-page CV
You can tailor your LinkedIn page, and give an in-depth explanation about your work experience and qualifications you list on your profile.
Connect with anyone
LinkedIn is a good way to link to people and allows you the opportunity to connect with anyone in the world. But it is important to be selective about who you connect with. Remember, the quality of your connections are more important than the number of connections! LinkedIn actually recommends that you do not connect with people you do not know, so if you want to approach somebody for advice or about a job opportunity, it is a good idea to see if you have any mutual connections first so that you have a way of being introduced to them.
In your profile you include your background, education, qualification, hobbies, internship experiences, etc. This makes it easy for any future employers, head-hunters or recruitment agencies to search for you and gain a better understanding of who you are and your experiences before they contact you. Therefore, it is important that you are putting your best self forward and all information is relevant and correct.
A lot of recruitment agencies and employers use the site to search for suitable candidates for their roles. This is based on my own personal experience as since I have completed my profile on LinkedIn, I receive at least two messages from executive search firms or recruitment agencies every week approaching candidates for their clients.
Keep up to date with your business connections
When a connection on LinkedIn changes their jobs, they will update their profile and you, as their linked person, will be able to see their move. This effectively keeps you updated on the latest news on your business network and as your network grows you will find surprises as well as useful contacts.
Connect with people you already know and follow companies
You can search people who added ‘The University of Nottingham’ to their education. There are 104,000 Nottingham students and alumni on LinkedIn now, so it is an easy, quick and very good way to get connected to people you may already know. You can also use LinkedIn’s University Rankings to see where The University of Nottingham ranks in your chosen field. Employers are also making great use of LinkedIn for marketing their brand, keeping people updated on news and events and advertising vacancies.
LinkedIn is a good channel for you to promote yourself, and for people to look for you in the business world. By having a good page on LinkedIn, it is the same as preparing a good advertisement to promote yourself in the market, which will be very useful for your career.
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