Whilst many students are quite savvy at using Facebook and Twitter, many are still unaware of the networking opportunities available to them via LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great way to identify professionals and alumni working in your fields of interest. What better way to start networking than to connect with someone you already know or have a common background with?
Have you ever had a look at Victoria’s alumni LinkedIn page? You’ll be amazed at what you will find. You can locate Victoria graduates by where they live, where they work or what kind of work they do. Have a look!
If you want to give yourself an edge in your job hunt, you need to use social networks to your advantage. Having a LinkedIn account is a great way to build up contacts while still at university. It can help you find work experience, summer internships or graduate roles. Following companies can give you a good idea of how they are doing, whether they are recruiting, and who their competitors are. LinkedIn groups can also be very useful – they’re a good place to get advice and find industry professionals. You can connect to relevant groups and get involved in discussions and leave comments.
LinkedIn is not Facebook. Keep Facebook for your social activities but use LinkedIn for your professional profile. Private and professional networks should be kept separate. If someone searches for your name in Google (and believe me it is one of the first things recruiters will do), what are they likely to find? Having an up-to-date LinkedIn profile is like having an online CV.
Getting started: Like preparing a CV, start thinking about what you will want to say about yourself. What motivates you, what experiences you may want to highlight including volunteer work, what educational qualifications you have, what clubs or organisations you have been part of, skills you want to highlight, projects you have worked on and any awards or prizes you may have received. Remember to use a smart, professional looking photo of yourself.