How international students can use LinkedIn to their advantage
By Sean Mortell
LinkedIn is a hub full of employers and prospective employees. Unlike other social networks that rely on status updates and artistic posts, LinkedIn is entirely career centred. It’s a place for employees to build up a career profile and then network with gurus of certain industries to gain employment. On your own profile you can upload your resume and work history and interact with other people; on the paid subscription you can take classes based on specific skills relevant to your chosen career path.
Why is it important for students to be on LinkedIn before they graduate?
Why wait to graduate when you can start building up a catalogue of experience and contacts early? LinkedIn is the ideal site to network and make yourself readily employable. Considering the global job market has ground to a halt in 2020, LinkedIn provides a wonderful assistant to help propel you into an industry and up the ladder.
In a world increasingly online, having a presence could make the difference when it comes to landing your dream job. Employers nowadays always commence social media and online searches of your name to determine if you are appropriate and impressive. An easy way to tick this box is to have a clean and detailed LinkedIn profile with many networks already established.
How to effectively use LinkedIn
Like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is a simple social networking device to use. Start by working on your profile, which is basically an extended and detailed resume with skills, work experience and references. The home tab allows you to make ‘connections’ (similar to friends on Facebook) with other people so that their posts will come up on your feed. If you feel confident, simple posts every now and then can keep connections updated on what you are up to in your industry and what skills you are learning.
One of the easiest and most effective ways of using LinkedIn to get a job is to follow relevant industry groups and keep tabs on the news in that area. You’ll open up more opportunities if you follow
businesses that you would be interested in working for, while also actively seeking for opportunities that arise on the site. If you do find an open position you wish to apply for, LinkedIn can save plenty of time when it comes to applying, as it can fill out entire forms for you based on what you’ve included in your profile.
How can I effectively make a good student profile?
It’s hard to make a detail-rich profile when you’re a student with minimal experience or qualifications. But there are certain tweaks that can help your profile stand out amongst other candidates. Firstly, put effort into the finer details. This includes your profile picture (if possible, have it taken professionally), the headline/ summary and your experience (this doesn’t have to be strictly work – any volunteering or relevant skills that pertain to the role you want can fit in here). Fill out all of the sections if possible.
When making connections, it can be a good idea to send a personalised message to ensure you catch people’s attention and make a meaningful network. All of this will help you in the long run – a profile that shows active posting and care for detail can do a lot more than you think.
LinkedIn profile tips for international students
There are some simple additions international students can make to their profiles to get them noticed:
- It can be as simple as listing your background and experience – your skills may be more diverse, making you stand out to potential employers.
- Try and add at least one recommendation on your profile, as this automatically shows you have people who can support you when you go for that dream job.
- Remain professional and inviting while giving as much detail as possible.
Hop on and get used to it, for it is critical to many job industries!
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