Blog article written by Fiona Lam
LinkedIn has 63 million unique mobile visitors each month, making it one of the most useful platforms for networking. From a glance, LinkedIn can seem intimidating, especially for university students who have not quite entered the professional workforce yet but would like to gain some firsthand experience in their chosen field. If you’re one of the thousands who can relate, ABSA has compiled a quick beginner's guide for you to get your foot in the door.
1. Polish your profile and make sure it’s complete
This includes any relevant current or previous work and volunteer experiences that should be updated regularly too. Make your profile summary your story as it’s one of the first things a visitor will see. Be creative because this is your chance to share your unique selling point as a potential recruit through your professional history, qualifications and personality.
Importantly, make sure to upload your head shot. If your profile has photos, you will get 21 times more views than without, so take a shoulders-up selfie or professional photo.
2. Connect with prospective employers, acquaintances and colleagues
Don’t be afraid to personalise notes when you send connection requests. Give some context about who you are and why you’d like to connect with someone. This could include follow-ups with people you’ve met from in-person networking events or extracurricular events such as ABSA’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program.
I’m a university senior interested in working in marketing. For the last year, I’ve been following your work with [company], and it really impressed me. I particularly loved your recent campaign on [information]. If you ever could spare 15 minutes or so, I’d love to hear more about how you started working in the field and what skills you believe are most relevant to the profession.
Thank you very much,
3. Engage and interact with posts on your feed
The more active you are on LinkedIn, the more opportunities you create for yourself. LinkedIn is a versatile platform and you can utilise it to comment, like and share job opportunities or news of interest to your connections. This also allows others to get to know a bit about you just from a glance of your profile and interactions.
A natural way to do this is to congratulate an existing connection on their new role or promotion. Keep this a positive and encouraging space while sparking a conversation with an old workmate
4. Sync your profile to your address book
One easy way to grow your LinkedIn network is to sync your profile with your email address book. This allows LinkedIn to suggest people you could potentially connect with that you already know or have as contacts on your phone. It’s effective in surfacing relevant people for you to reach out to – and no connection requests are sent without your permission, so you can vet all of the potential connections.
5. Write and receive recommendations
Written recommendations from previous employers and colleagues can help to substantiate your skills and increase your credibility. How do you get recommended on LinkedIn? For starters, go through your network and identify connections who you feel genuinely deserve a recommendation from you – that’s often the trigger for people to return the favour. If you’re still nurturing your relationships and not ready to request a written recommendation, consider endorsing a skill for your classmates and colleagues.
We wish you the best of luck in your LinkedIn journey. If you’re looking to expand your connections, look out for our upcoming Entrepreneurship & Innovation Series, where you can pitch your own startup idea to leading representatives in the VC and startup space in a shark-tank style finale.
Don’t forget to follow the Australian Business Students’ Association on LinkedIn to get the latest news and updates. We post business related content such as blogs, news and also hold events to provide students with more opportunities to network and grow.
Stay connected with ABSA on social media!