To start the talk, the group were asked to split into pairs and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of social media; both from the perspective of an employer and an employee. After about five minutes, the presenters asked for ideas and these were discussed. This was a good way to get the group interacting with each other and become a bit more comfortable with the presenters. They then gave a brief PowerPoint presentation on the negative uses of social media, focusing mostly on Facebook and Twitter, and suggesting that you need to be very careful about what image of yourself you allow to be shared online. After this they moved on to LinkedIn and the variety of ways it can be useful in finding a job and “managing your own brand”.
A LinkedIn profile is divided into five sections:
· headline – it’s the first thing an employer reads, so this needs to hook them;
· education - this should include predicted results if you’ve not yet graduated, and any extra-curricular awards and courses;
· experience - this section can be lifted straight from your CV;
· summary - this should be full of search ‘keywords’ and include what kind of jobs you’re looking for;
· recommendations - similar to a references section, where previous employers can write about your time with them.However, the talk emphasised that LinkedIn is more than just an online CV. It can be used to connect to future employers, research interviewers before meeting them or, by joining the University’s alumni network, help you to get better contacts within a company. I think I’ll be setting up my own LinkedIn account for when I leave uni and start building up my contacts now!
Ed (Student Blogger)