LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network making it the perfect place to connect with industry experts and to build your own network. As we’ve mentioned previously, having a strong CV is great, but you also need a professional online presence. Particularly in the Marketing industry, LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful tool used by almost all Marketing professionals. Many recruiters now say they also check a candidates LinkedIn profile, so creating a strong profile and using it to its full potential has never been more important.
Your LinkedIn profile will act as an online CV. Your qualifications/experience etc. can be seen by anyone who adds you as a connection and they could turn out to be a potential future employer. Therefore giving your LinkedIn profile as much attention as you would your CV is essential. When it comes to setting up your profile, LinkedIn already has a useful layout so all you need to do is add in your qualifications, experience and skills. There is also room for you to expand on these but try and keep it concise, just as you would on your CV.
Use the experience section by adding any relevant work experience or part time jobs. Always include a brief description of tasks carried out during your time there and what skills you gained.
When it comes to adding skills, try and think about the skills required for the roles you’re looking for. This is really useful when it comes to using the job search function as employers list the skills required for the role so when you click on a job, it will state how many skills you have against those required for the role.
Always keep your headline updated with your current position. If you’re still a student it could be “Final year Marketing student seeking graduate Digital Marketing role”.
If you’re a student you probably won’t have a professional headshot photo yet but don’t worry. Choose a photo from your shoulders up, smile and reduce any background noise – a plain light coloured background would work best.
I have found LinkedIn to be the single most effective tool when searching for Marketing roles. I even found the role I’m currently in through LinkedIn. The ‘jobs’ feature on the app is so easy to use, you can select the role you’d like, the industry and the location. You can also set up job alerts so when new roles are added that match your criteria, you’ll be notified.
Connect with recruitment agencies
I also connected with a few Marketing recruitment agency professionals. Most agencies have specific people for each industry and they use LinkedIn a lot to actively search for candidates/post jobs. This worked really well for me because they checked my profile and decided if I would be suited to the role before contacting me and asking if I’d like to apply.
Company specific connections
During my time at uni I found a company I really wanted to work for so I connected with their HR team and messaged them to say I was interested in any Marketing roles. Connecting with current employees can also provide a valuable insight which you can use during interviews. So if you have a particular company you’d love to work for, connect with current employees and engage with them. You’ll also see any job posts or company updates.
Finding work experience
LinkedIn can be a really effective job hunting tool for when you finish uni but also to try and gain some work experience while you’re still studying. A really simple way to try and get some experience is to post an update. Simply state that you’re a student looking for some experience and ask people to get in touch if they think they could help. Lots of posts like this get lots of likes/shares and people tagging businesses that could help. Offering work experience for free is a two way street so don’t be afraid to ask the question. Also, including hashtags in your post will make it visible to anyone searching for someone like you.
What to post on LinkedIn as a student
LinkedIn is absolutely overflowing with informative articles, blog posts, updates and achievements from professionals in every industry. So as a student with little experience, the thought of posting any kind of content can be daunting. But everyone has to start somewhere, so start by posting about any achievements, assignments, involvement in societies and future plans. Remember LinkedIn is your online personal brand, so posting these types of updates is letting people know what you’re about. If you have a blog, LinkedIn is the perfect place to post it and ask for feedback. Engaging on LinkedIn is key and a really good way to get some engagement on your posts is to share a post about a campaign that you think has been effective and share your thoughts. This will almost certainly gain some form of engagement and interaction. Don’t forget to use hashtags too so your post can be found by users outside of your connections.
Your LinkedIn profile is the perfect place to build a positive online presence and can be an incredibly useful tool for kick-starting your Marketing career. Let us know if you want to know anything else about using LinkedIn as a student or recent graduate!