Part two – building a profile to get a job

Don’t forget the Golden Rule of LinkedIn – be professional at all times

But you knew that, didn’t you?

In our previous post, we walked through the process of setting up an eye-catching headline, summary and photo on LinkedIn. In this article, we’ll look at how to build a profile on LinkedIn that will help you get a job.

What to put if you don’t have a job?

It doesn’t matter if you aren’t currently working. It is likely to be clear that you have just left school and will they will read on, particularly if they are looking for apprentices, part-time, temporary or fixed-term staff. Use the ‘current position’ space to mention that you are a job seeker.

Summary

LinkedIn gives you the chance to add a summary over and above your qualifications and work experience. If you have an ideal job in mind, use this section to highlight why you want this career. If you haven’t quite decided on a dream job, describe your strengths, interests and skills.

In the summary, expand on your headline by showing what an employer would gain by hiring you. Write your first draft, then read it again and ask the question “so-what?” after every line. If you can justify leaving it in there, move on. For example, lots of people have something like this in their CV:

‘I work well as an individual as well as part of a team.’

So what? Be specific. Give an example of a time when you worked unsupervised to get a job done, or how your teacher or manager often asked you to lead on a project, this means a lot more. When did you work as an individual? Why was no one else involved? What motivated you? What was the goal? How did you plan your work? What was the outcome?

Complete your profile

Have a copy of your CV handy and make sure that the dates and key details match up. This will prevent any awkward questions at interview about whether or not you have tried to mislead a potential employer.

LinkedIn allows you to describe each job you have had and each school you have attended (only include secondary school and college here). Our advice is to avoid simply cutting and pasting copy from your CV, however tempting! Most employers know what you mean by ‘Waitress’, ‘Bar Staff’, ‘door to door salesperson’. Use the space to highlight your achievements. What were you praised for? What did you learn? If you can add in any facts or figures this might also help. For example:

Customer Services Assistant – Big Shop Co. Sept 2016 - Feb 2017

‘I was a customer services assistant at Big Shop Co. I served customers and kept the shelves stocked. Sometimes I had to work in the warehouse to sort out deliveries.’ (job description)

…. Becomes….

Customer Services Assistant – Big Shop Co. Sept 2016 - Feb 2017

‘In addition to my regular duties in store, I was singled out for praise by my manager for staying behind after a long shift to provide cover during the busy build up to Christmas. This was recognised by the regional manager and mentioned in the Big Shop Co.’s staff newsletter.’ (achievements and success, with evidence of effort, teamwork and high performance)

In our next blog post we’ll look at connecting to the right people and how to raise your profile with potential employers.