This week Amy Moody, Student Recruitment Officer at EY, delivered a useful and thought-provoking session on LinkedIn and personal impact. Here’s a summary of what she covered
Amy outlined some of the ways you can use LinkedIn and how to create a strong profile. These were her top 5 ‘to-dos’ if you are on LinkedIn:
Complete this as fully as possible (use the prompts that LinkedIn gives you to do this). Amy suggested that you should give a good couple of hours to this. Reflect broadly on your skills and experiences – these can be related to what you want to do or anything else. As with your CV, focus on highlighting achievements and skills developed when discussing experiences.
Consider key words. Think about what key words recruiters might be searching for and try to include these in your profile – particularly in your summary and experience sections.
Consider your existing network, and connect with them. Think broadly. This might be family, friends (from all areas of your life; e.g. school, home, university, clubs/ interests/ sport, work etc.), former colleagues/ employers (regardless of industry), possibly tutors and so on.
- Use groups
As an absolute minimum, join relevant alumni groups – e.g. Leeds Alumni but also look for groups relating to your professional interests and participate in these actively
- Employer insights
Following company pages will help you stay up to date with news, job opportunities etc. Looking at current employee profiles on LinkedIn can also give you more insights into a role, what it’s likely to involve
- Be active
Keep your profile up to date, share relevant or interesting items, news stories etc. as status updates, participate – or start – discussions in relevant groups.
This half of the session focused on how to make a positive first impression, particularly in person. The following points stood out and will be particularly useful to bear in mind when interacting with potential employers, whether at interview or careers events.
What you say or how you say it?
First impressions are typically made in the first 60-90 seconds and the relative importance of what you say, how you say it, your appearance and body language in making this impression are as follows;
- Words 7%
- Voice 38%
- Appearance and body language 55%
Avoid being too aggressive or being the ‘limp noodle’. A good handshake should be firm with 2 cranks. Maintain eye contact and smile throughout the handshake.
Consider your stance and posture, eye contact, hands and gestures, proximity (respect personal space) and expressions of emotion – particularly try and smile!
Using your voice
Consider clarity, volume, tone and inflection, choice of words and emphasis. Try to develop an awareness of how you speak, particularly when nervous, and take steps to alter if necessary. For example, if you tend towards monotone then make an effort to consciously vary this, increase inflection and vary your emphasis. Equally, if you tend to be on the loud or quiet side, adjust as necessary.
Bring energy and interest
Take an interest in the people you’re speaking to and really listen to them (as opposed to just waiting for a gap to speak), ask questions about what they’re telling you, look for common ground and highlight this. Enthusiasm and positivity will help you make a much better impression and make people more inclined to speak to you.
For further tips on using LinkedIn, you might want to take a look at our series of short video guides, these blog posts; So you’ve joined LinkedIn, now what?, Linking in to alumni, or come and speak to us. We have further tips on networking on our website, and regularly run workshops to help you develop these skills.