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​Career Advice: Is your LinkedIn profile good enough?

25/04/2016 Sophie

If you are interested in becoming an apprentice, you will probably have to go down the traditional route of filling in an application form and attending an interview before being considered for the position. But seeing as we live in the 21st century, there are a few other ways that employers can find out whether your personality would fit their organisation, most notably social media.

While networks like Facebook and Twitter provide an insight into your everyday opinions, LinkedIn is there to paint a more professional picture. However, several people don’t pay much attention to their LinkedIn account, let alone take the time to make sure it is up to scratch. This is despite the fact 87 per cent of recruiters use LinkedIn, compared to 55 per cent for Facebook and 47 per cent for Twitter. But how do you know if your profile is good enough? Well, you will need to do the following in order to give potential employers
the right impression and increase your chances of securing an apprenticeship.

Select a professional photo

As opposed to Facebook or Twitter, your LinkedIn profile picture can’t be a photo of you on holiday or even a selfie. It needs to be as professional as possible, preferably a headshot looking straight ahead. People remember faces more than names and first impressions are crucial, especially online, so try to look friendly but not too formal. Don’t worry if you can’t afford a professional photo-shoot, just ask a friend to help out. Don’t forget to smile either!

Choose visuals over text

If an employer already has your CV, there is no point repeating what it contains on social media. Instead, use LinkedIn’s ‘Professional
Portfolio’ feature to build a more aesthetically pleasing profile showcasing presentations, photos, videos, links, PDFs, and more. Your apprenticeship might not be in an overly creative industry, but the addition of some visual enhancement to a plain text profile is bound to catch the eye of employers while also highlighting your attention to detail.

Use LinkedIn’s limitless potential to your advantage

Once again, you should capitalise on what your CV can’t do by maximising the limitless potential of LinkedIn. This means elaborating on small points such as volunteer positions or success stories. You should also write a captivating and compelling summary, describing who you are and what you are passionate about. Although you will want to sound professional, there is room for making it personal too.

Give and ask for recommendations and endorsements

Even if you are only just starting out, you should give and ask for recommendations and endorsements wherever possible. Your existing
contacts are much more likely to give you a recommendation or endorsement if you do the same for them. For contacts that aren’t so forthcoming, don’t be afraid to ask in person or write a personal email that explains why you want a recommendation or endorsement and what it would mean to you.

Get busy connecting and networking

It might seem like a brave or even brash thing to do, but there is nothing stopping you from connecting with potential employers. You can include a personal note with your invitation, which will demonstrate enthusiasm and intuition. Another good idea is networking with people in your desired industry and striking up conversations via LinkedIn groups. You will be able to gain valuable insights into the latest developments and trends, which could come in handy during an interview.

Give yourself a morning or afternoon to unlock the extensive recruiting influence of LinkedIn and your career prospects will receive a
noticeable boost.

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