Networking. University is a great place to network, meeting students accross the UK and the globe. That’s great, but you need a tool to make you stick out and grants you the chance of connecting high up recruiters to get that desired job.
Is there such thing?
There is indeed and it’s called Linkedin.
Firstly, what is Linkedin?
Linkedin is a social networking site primarily for the business community, but it’s an absolute godsend for students and graduates! You upload all your achievements, qualifications and employment history, like a CV/resume and connect with either people you know, or employers – or both.
You may think ‘Ah it’s just a site for pretentious people showing off how good they are’, but it’s not like that, you should think of it as your proud list of information to attract future employers.
Once you’ve done the basics like where you’ve worked at, volunteered at etc.
Jazz up your profile…
Make it look exciting – Add media and links to any videos or projects you’ve done. I’ve included an intervid video onto mine, which shows the employer what I’m like as a person and what I’m interested in.
It’s exactly what it says, a blend between an interview and a video and it’s short, which makes it quite succinct.
Connecting with your friends
To start off with, you’ll be a Billy-no-mates and then you have to start connecting with your friends from other social media and email accounts. Connecting with other students is ideal because if one of your connections goes on to become a Marketing Executive, per se, you can see or ask them if there are any vacancies at the company. Who knows, you might be lucky. Or the other way round, they might see what you’ve done and ask you if you’re looking for a job.
Select your skills on your profile
Say you got impressive skills on computing, funnily enough, add it into the section that says Skills.
But here’s the problem, who’s going to believe that you have skills in computing?
That’s where your connections come into play, they will ‘endorse’ some of the skills you put down, which is pretty much like saying ‘Yeah, that’s true’, ‘He’s great at that’, or ‘Yep, I’ve witnessed that’.
They may even add in skills for you that you haven’t even put down, which makes you feel great because it means people can see other positive qualities and strengths that you may not have known you had. Eventually, you’ll get quite a few ‘endorsements’ on your profile, which will highlight your best abilities to a possible employer or headhunter quickly browsing your profile.
My top three skills are Blogging, Facebook and Social Media – It really gives you an insight into possible jobs you should explore. Sometimes, to get endorsements, you play the tit for tat game, where you endorse someone for skills, so they return the favour.
You don’t just include business skills, but include your hobbies and what you do outside of the workplace which showcases your personality, telling the employer that you’re not just another robotic candidate.
Recommendations on your profile
Similarly, the ‘recommendations’ section is when a connection writes a paragaph about what you’re like, it could be a friend, lecturer, previous employer etc.
It’s like a mini reference. Every recommendation would be written differently and based upon the different project or job you were involved in, but there would also be many similarities between them on your personal qualities and strengths.
From seeing them, it gives the potential employer or headhunter a great insight in how you’re going to be at working for their company.
Job vacancies in your emails
You can opt to receive vacancy alerts to your email. It can be based on location, say you only want to know about jobs in Worcester, it’ll do that, or you can change it to jobs you’re qualified in, whether it would be London or Dorset – They’ll know what you’re looking for.
Tired of your three years at uni and want to travel, live and work somewhere new? Type in the location in the search box and it will come up with an influx of jobs in that location, then use the filters to make yor search more defined.
For example: Marketing assistant, Chicago, Illinois.
You can see what it’s like working for a specific comany or job role
I’ve had a browse at companies I’d like to apply for when I graduate and you’ll find people in the company’s network that work for them. This is really useful because you could sneakily stalk their profile and see what the tasks they have to do for that specific role, or see what they’ve done previously to move up into that company.
I know, it’s very cheeky!
Make sure you set your profile as anonymous because if you don’t, they can see who has browsed their profile.
Apply for jobs on Linkedin
Job vacancies are advertised on Linkedin, therefore you can also apply for the job on the site, as your profile is pretty much your CV/resume.
Some don’t though, they just have a description and job requirements with a button to apply on their company’s site. You’d probably have to get an upgraded account to do that though.
I’ll mainly use this when I’ve finished university and on the search for that dream job, but right now I go on it now and then. I’ll probably get more connections, upgrade my account and apply for jobs on there later – If it helps, you get places, why not?
Headhunters could find you
If your profile is beefed up with plenty of experience and skills and your profile’s up-to-date and active, people could find you. It’s usually when you work at big brands, that headhunters try and convince you to work for them. Even if it’s not headhunters, you can get random people wanting to connect with you.
It’s happened to me a few times, some people wanting to connect. I accepted a connection request from a person working for a prestigeous car brand and he endorsed me on some of my skills, which was pretty cool.
I have yet requested connections with random people, but I will do when I find the time.
Connecting with employers
It’s worth a shot! Ask to connect with an employer or a really high up person at your dream job. You’ll be surprised, quite a few of them accept. A local employer gave me the following advice…
– Request connections with executives and directors
– Message them if they don’t accept
– If they do accept, you can act like you know them.
“Yeah, you know me, you connected with me on Linkedin? I’m Christopher Lopez. Remember?”
I hope I’ve inspired you to get a profile, even if you’re not at uni, or never had a job.
As I’ve said, your connections may be on the watch for someone.
If you get an account, or if you have one already, here’s my profile.
Link in with me – Go on, I don’t bite!