TOPIC: Why LinkedIn, and how to get started.
It’s worth the time to set up a LinkedIn, even if you don’t check it every day or week. Not only is it where potential employers can see what you’re about, it’s also a way to build your network of media contacts and follow what’s happening in the industry.
Here’s how to make it work for you:
Fill in as many sections as possible
When you’re first starting your career, it can be tricky to have a lot of info to add. That said, you should really make the most of what you have. Detail skills, subjects you’ve studied, any volunteer work…
And your WordPress site should definitely be linked to your profile.
Get a decent photo
Make it professional and friendly.
If you’re not sure what’s “professional” for your field, look up some people who already work in the industry to get a sense of what works and what doesn’t.
Show who you are.
“Action shots” tend to get good results, so consider getting a photo in the studio or when you’re out interviewing someone.
Good light is your friend.
Anyone who’s ever taken a selfie knows that.
Get a friend or classmate to take the photo.
Not only do you get some help with setting up the photo and choosing the best light and angle, there’s something about a selfie that seems less professional.
Use your headline and professional summary
You have 120 characters for your headline.
LinkedIn can default to your most recent job, but you’d be better off to craft something that succinctly sums up what you do and what value you bring to an organisation. Speak to a prospective employer using their language – and if you can fit in a recruitment keyword or two, even better.
You have 2000 characters for your summary.
You might start with a bio that you’ve previously written, and tailor it to this particular platform – as well as your target audience. Start strong – your first 2-3 lines are most important. And if you can, put in the keywords that you’ve started noticing in the sorts of job ads you’re excited about.
Make connections and learn about the industry
Once you’ve got your profile to a decent standard, start making connections.
First – start with everyone in the room.
Then – look for people who have the sorts of job that you might be interested in. Connect. If you have an option to send a message, do. Tell them that you’re studying media, that you’re really interested in what they do. (HINT: This could help you do your Career advice report assessment..)
Finally – find some companies to follow or groups to join.