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A Graduate’s Guide to LinkedIn: Five tips to optimise your profile

Job interview


Having a LinkedIn profile is much more than just an online resume- it’s a way to build a network and boost your career to new heights. Companies use LinkedIn to seek out potential employees when they have job openings, and screen applicants who apply for vacancies, so having a profile that stands out can be the key to scoring your dream job.

Postgraduate study is one way to give your profile that extra edge, as it shows that you have in-depth knowledge in your chosen field. This five-step guide will show you how to leverage your postgraduate education throughout your LinkedIn profile so you can accelerate your career and land a promotion or kick-start a job in a new industry. 

1. Profile Picture

By having a well-lit, high-quality photo as your profile picture, you’re showing employers that you are a professional and serious about your career. If you don’t have a professional photographer on hand, get a friend to take a photo of you in front of a plain background.

2. Headline

Your headline is your chance to make a great first impression. An effective headline tells people what you want to do professionally, what roles you can fill, and gives insight into your interests and values. 

When crafting a headline, think about three adjectives that describe you, both as a student and an employee.

For example: Recent Data Science Graduate Searching for New Learning Experiences.

This not only reflects your career goals and motivations but also lets recruiters know specifically which industry you are interested in. 

3. Summary

A good summary tells the story of what you have accomplished so far in your career, and what new experiences you wish to pursue now that you’ve earned your post-graduate qualification.

When writing your summary, think about these questions:

  • What are some quantifiable achievements I’ve made in my past work experiences?
  • Why do I want to join this industry?
  •  What personally makes me stand out from my peers?

Remember to also come up with target keywords for your summary to include naturally. These keywords should be based on your skills and the industry you’re trying to enter, as well as the job titles you’re searching for. You can also look at job descriptions and include some of the required skills in your summary.

4. Education

If you’re changing industries, you may not feel like you have enough relevant work experience to make your profile stand out. If so, bolster the education section instead. LinkedIn allows you to go into detail about what you did during your studies, so take advantage.

List 4–6 of your academic accomplishments and specify how you contributed to a project. Were you in charge of conducting interviews for a group assignment for your psychology degree? Did an academic study you were involved in get published in a major publication?

5. Start Connecting

Linkedin allows you to build a network and gain access to industry insiders- so take advantage of it. Reach out to people in your desired industry and connect with past co-workers and classmates. A potential mentor or future employer could be just one click away. There is also a section for recommendations and endorsements, so ask your previous Manager or University Professor if they can write you a short reference. Following leading experts and companies can also be a great way to stay on top of current industry trends. 

More and more recruiters are turning to LinkedIn to find their next best employee. So now more than ever it’s important to stand out from the crowd. After graduating, making the next step in your career can be daunting, but your LinkedIn profile can help widen your job search and lead you closer to your chosen industry.