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Getting started with LinkedIn

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Published: 26 August 2021

 Phone with LinkedIn

One of the biggest social media sites on the internet and the number one place for professionals, LinkedIn is a must for anyone serious about their career.  

Whichever industry you want to work in, learning how to network through the site is a skill that helps you reach your goals.  

What you need to know  

LinkedIn is a major resource for companies looking to hire their next top employee.  

It’s estimated that 94% of recruiters look through the profile of a potential candidate, which makes it the perfect tool to show the best of your abilities.  

The photo  

A profile image is an incredibly important part of the process of creating your LinkedIn account.  

People are much more likely to trust you if they know what you look like. But you don’t need an expensive camera to create a great photo.  

Your phone should have high enough quality to do the job but remember to focus on lighting which is often the key to getting a good picture.  

Then, think about the kind of message you want to put out there. Are you aiming to work in an office environment? Smart clothes like a suit or button-down top are the best way to go.  

Also, don’t forget to smile. It can make all the difference.  

Tell people where you are 

Another major trick is to mark the location. You’ll get the chance when you go to start up the account.  

It’s important to do this because recruiters often search for candidates through the city or town the job is in first.  

Change your URL  

A URL (or Uniform Resource Locator) is the proper name for a website address.  

When you set up a LinkedIn account, you’ll get a URL of your own, which is great because you can start adding it to your CVs and applications.  

Doing that means you can give the recruiter more information about you.  

But you’ll notice your LinkedIn URL will be a bit messy. It normally includes your name and then a list of numbers.   

You can change that by clicking ‘Edit your public profile’ and changing the text in the box at the upper right-hand side of the page.  

Try and get as close to your actual name as possible. It might already be taken, so use your middle initial, or add the sector you want to work in at the end of the URL.  

Have a summary  

There are lots of other steps to setting up your LinkedIn account, but this is arguably the most important.  

When you first create your profile, you’ll be given the option to write a small piece about yourself.  

This is a professional summary of who you are, your work and educational experience and the sector you want to be in.  

Write in the first person (I.e., use ‘I’ and ‘my’ rather than ‘hers’ or ‘his’) and be professional.  

It’s also worth noting that you have 2,000 words to use, but the best profiles are shorter and filled with interesting information.  

That way your reader will be more likely to want to look through the rest of your profile.  

Of course, once you’ve created your account you need to start speaking with people, sharing your achievements and looking for jobs.  

Make sure you have a look through LinkedIn’s Help centre for a complete set of guides to every step of using the site.  

Whatever you want to do when you finish your degree, our Careers and Employability office is here to help.      

To have a one-to-one chat with them, book a meeting through Compass.      

Alternatively, email careers-london@sunderland.ac.uk. Find out more by following #WeAreSunLon on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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