LinkedIn and network

Networks have a huge impact on your working life. They give you the chance to support other people. And they can support you in turn. Your network consists of people who you know or meet – you will know some of them better than others, of course. LinkedIn is an important platform for careers and networks. Here are some guidelines about how to network both online and offline.

NETWORKING

Networking is all about interacting socially with the people you meet during your studies, in the workplace, and indeed in all other aspects of your life.

You just have to act naturally and be yourself – it’s the best way to develop useful contacts with the companies and people in your network. If you know someone who works for a company you’re interested in, you could try inviting them for a coffee. This is just one way to build a good relationship which could well prove useful. Your university course and classmates are also a great place to start – after all, you share the same field of expertise and social circles. If people like spending time with you, your social network will grow wider. Which will increase the likelihood that your network will prove useful when you need it.

And when you do need your network, don’t be afraid to use it. Otherwise it will be useless. Keep your eyes open and try to identify any situations and people that provide opportunities for networking.

LINKEDIN CAN BE USEFUL

LinkedIn can be a very useful tool for students. And not just when you’re trying to develop a professional network online.

  • Find out what other people with your educational background are doing at linkedin.com/alumni
  • Identify your contacts and create new ones.
  • Keep up-to-date in your field.
  • Do research on companies.
  • Check the job ads. 
  • Look for recruitment opportunities.
  • Organise your personal references.
  • Take part in relevant debates.
  • Maintain an accessible, visible and effective CV online.

LinkedIn has also produced this site for students. This is where you can find videos and descriptions about how to look for jobs on LinkedIn and how to use the Alumni Tool.

USEFUL TIPS FOR YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE

USE KEYWORDS
Other people can find you on LinkedIn if you use certain keywords. So it’s important that your profile contains keywords describing who you are and what you can do. Try to use keywords that describe you as well as possible. Underline your competences, your areas of expertise, and the kind of work you’re good at. It’s a good idea to use plenty of keywords. This will increase the likelihood that people will find you. 

TELL THE WORLD WHAT YOU CAN DO 
Two of the most important aspects of your LinkedIn profile are your heading and the way you describe yourself in brief. You need to be precise when describing who you are and what you want to do. Putting your title or educational background in the heading might not be the best idea – try saying what you’re good at instead. There’s plenty of room further down your profile to describe your educational background and the kind of work you can do.

USE A PROFESSIONAL PROFILE PHOTO
Profiles with a photo will be seen seven times as frequently as profiles without a photo. Your profile photo sends a strong signal, but it should show you from your professional side. Photos that were taken on a beach, at a party or with a pet do not reflect the professional style that prevails on LinkedIn. 

CREATE A PERSONAL LINK TO YOUR PROFILE 
All LinkedIn profiles have a unique link. And you can turn this link into a personal one. This is an advantage because it means that it will be short and meaningful. Use the link in your CV, in your email signature, and anywhere else it might make sense. It’s an easy way to invite other people to view your profile – you’ll be making their lives easier. 

DESCRIBE YOUR WORK EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
It’s important to describe each of your previous jobs and your educational background. A description of your jobs and achievements will make it easy for people to identify your skills and strengths. It’s also important to describe your educational background – this will enable you to underline certain aspects of your experience, your strengths, and where your interests lie.