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How to make your LinkedIn profile stand out after your Chevening year
As a Chevening Alumnus, you will already know how important online networking is to help you land your dream job. But how exactly should you optimise your LinkedIn profile to make you stand out to recruiters and hiring managers? Here are our top six tips on boosting your presence on LinkedIn.
1. Share your story – and don’t forget to mention your Chevening year!
According to recruiters, too many candidates still make the mistake of restricting their ‘Headline’ on LinkedIn to their job title, and even more candidates don’t use the ‘About’ section to its full potential. You should make the most of both sections to tell your story and show, in as few words as possible, who you are, what you have achieved, and what you still want to achieve.
It’s a good idea to list just your top-line achievements and roles as part of a compound headline. You should include your Chevening Award here, like Chevening Alumnus Felix Fomengia has done on his profile (as shown in the right-hand image).
The ’About’ section, meanwhile, is your chance to share in more detail who you are and how you can make a difference. Rather than simply copying this information straight from your CV, you should take advantage of the generous 2,600 character limit and open text space here.
Use it to talk about how your Chevening experience has enriched you and to point out what makes you the best choice for the kind of job you want. Insert key words to help you appear in recruiter searches, as well as details that humanise you as a candidate.
2. Choose the right visuals
The general advice on CVs is not to include a profile picture, as these can be distracting to hiring managers when scanning through your CV (studies show that recruiters spend less than 7 seconds looking at a CV!).
LinkedIn, on the other hand, does encourage you to upload a profile picture and cover photo. And as people are visual beings, these photos are important to help give the right first impression to your potential employer. When choosing your LinkedIn profile photo, make sure the picture is recent and looks like you, make sure your face takes up around 60% of the photo (rather than being a long-distance shot), and wear clothes that you would want to wear to your future workplace.
3. Show, don’t tell!
There is a tipping point where adjectives become so-called ‘buzzwords’ – words that are used so often in LinkedIn Headlines that they become almost completely meaningless. According to a list published by LinkedIn, this includes words like ‘specialised’, ‘leadership’, ‘focused’, ‘strategic’, ‘experienced’, ‘innovative’, and ‘passionate’.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use these words at all. You’re a Chevener afterall, ‘leadership’ and ‘passion’ run in your veins! But you need to be able to qualify them with solid examples of HOW you have demonstrated your leadership potential and your passion for your area of work.
4. Stay active
The argument for making sure you are an active LinkedIn member is simple: the more active you are on LinkedIn, the more visible you are to recruiters and hiring managers. This can either mean writing your own posts to share your thoughts and achievements, or it can simply mean liking and commenting on other people’s posts. This will all help to raise your score in the algorithmic search results.
5. Join the Chevening Alumni groups and networks
The Chevening Alumni Network LinkedIn group, the local Alumni Associations (many of which have their own social media presence), and the Chevening Alumni Alliance Networks are ideally placed to help you find like-minded Cheveners from all generations – both locally and abroad.
You can use the groups to search for specific topic areas and to see posts from other Cheveners advertising jobs or asking for input on projects. It’s also a great place to find Cheveners working in a similar field to you who can become ideal collaborators or mentors.
6. Share the love with other Cheveners
LinkedIn endorsements are a great way to show that other people also think you are as great as you say you are. But as is often the case in life, you have to give love to get it back.
Take a look at your LinkedIn network to identify fellow Cheveners who you know, and who you feel genuinely deserve an endorsement. More often than not, you will see them return the favour. But don’t be afraid to also reach out directly to fellow Cheveners and former colleagues whose opinion you value, and whose endorsement will make a difference to your profile. These should be people who are directly relevant to the work that you do or want to get into.
Good luck with your LinkedIn reshuffle and the rest of your job search!
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