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Date published: December 07, 2016

Employer blog: Why you should use LinkedIn

On Wednesday, 23rd November, ad tech start-up Dream Agility set out its stall at the University of Salford Computing, Science & Engineering Recruitment Fair 2016. Over 350 students were in attendance in the hope of finding placement and/or graduate opportunities with local businesses. Here, the company offers words of wisdom to those at the outset of their career.

We have been to quite a few recruitment fairs over the months. We have met countless students who are looking to make their first move into work and are keen to improve their employability via a placement or internship scheme. The Salford Recruitment Fair was one of the best that we have been to. The personal and intellectual qualities of the people that we met were second to none. But we have one piece of advice:

Use LinkedIn.

We have a vast connection base with the University of Manchester and this works wonders building awareness with the student population. We can, and do, invite them along to events and seminars, introducing ourselves and members of our tech community.

If students could see all the awards that we win in their LinkedIn feeds, it would bolster their belief that working for a smaller company can be as rewarding as working for a large corporate. If not, more so.

OK, so LinkedIn is not as ubiquitous as Facebook, as spontaneous as Twitter nor as imaginative as Instagram. It is designed for work rather than for fun and that is always a hard sell. But sell it we must.

Now in its 13th year, LinkedIn has over 433 million registered users with two novices joining every second. Do you know who is the fastest growing demographic on LinkedIn? Students and recent graduates.  People like you! There are now 39 million 15-34 year olds using LinkedIn to establish a professional brand to connect, follow and share with those 40% of users that check the social network daily. It is, in short, a crucial tool for career development but, to make the most of LinkedIn, it is wise to follow certain best practices.

Having a LinkedIn photo makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed. You may think you look great on a mountain bike but we recommend a classic head and shoulders portrait. And absolutely no duck faces or fish gapes. The photo should look professional and make you instantly recognisable.

Make sure that your current status is clear in the title. For example, Computer Science Graduate - Looking for Opportunities - Greater Manchester. Make it informative and punchy.

List the jobs that you have held and a brief description of what you were responsible for and what you accomplished. You can choose to make it either more or less detailed than your CV. Include volunteering. This can give you an edge with certain employers.

Whilst ensuring that relevant keywords are included in your profile, avoid hackneyed phraseology:

“I am going to have to be passionate and think strategically. The content of this blog will use my track record, extensive experience and innate creativity to give me guidance. It is going to take enthusiastic and motivated leadership.”

It might sound impressive but it has been heard before. (We are tempted to add agile to that list. A viable project management methodology has been transformed into an ability to take a phone call whilst making a cup of tea.)

List your skills and keep updating them as your career progresses. People who document skills on their profile get 13 times more views.

Once you are up and running, follow your sector’s individual and business leaders to gather insights. Interact with posts by liking, sharing or commenting. This will also get you noticed.

Finally: be brave. Do not be afraid to send connection invitations to people that you admire — explaining why you would like to connect — as well as friends old and new. These simple actions will create the foundations for a robust and expansive network.

If you are looking for a job, do your research and start a conversation. You never know what will happen. Some 41% of millionaires use LinkedIn…you may become one of them.

Did you know that the Careers & Employability service at the University offers LinkedIn workshops and one-to-one LinkedIn reviews? You should take advantage of this service and book via: http://www.careers.salford.ac.uk/page/careers-workshops.

Good luck!

Did we mention that we are hiring?

Account Executives, Computer Science and Software Developers and Trainee Business Development Managers.

For full job descriptions, visit: https://dreamagility.com/content/vacancies

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