LinkedIn have launched over the weekend new profile sections to enhance the profiles of students and graduates whose CV’s can look a little sparse considering their lack of professional work experience.
These new sections are:
This isn’t exactly a new feature but it’s one that’s definitely useful for graduates and students to complete if they’ve achieved a certificate. So for example if you’ve a certificate in Project Management or have just qualified as a CPA, you can enter your qualification here. This section displays the certificate name and certification authority, license (cert) number, certificate issue date and expiration date. This is a really powerful field which says to employers that you have a verified set of skills that you’ve achieved through hard work in university or college, and can prove it.
This is a great way to demonstrate that you’re always looking to learn and gain more knowledge in your field. From short evening courses to full and part-time courses, put them in here to show off that you don’t stay complacent and want to get ahead. The standard Education field didn’t really allow for these courses to be held for their merit, and is a welcome addition for graduates.
Again, not a new one but something that everyone who speaks another language should include. You can adjust your level of proficiency accordingly (eg, elementary proficiency to professional working or native/bilingual proficiency).
(in other words Clubs and Societies) One area where students gain a wealth of experience is in their college clubs and societies, so if you were an auditor, treasurer or panel member of a society you probably gained management experience that is worthwhile to potential employers. Club membership shows team-work, and your participation in extra-curricular activities while in college will demonstrate how much of a well-rounded person you became while at college.
Projects are an excellent way of demonstrating how you apply learned skills in to real-life situations, and projects invariably include teamwork and presentation skills. Including your projects on your profile will again give that extra oomph to your profile. It’s not limited to graduates though, if you work on projects for work that result in specific products or services, put them in here too.
Be proud of your college achievements and put your test-scores in, it’ll be impressive to recruiters and show that you work hard, and almost explain why you’ve little professional experience because you focussed on your college-work.
Honours and Awards
If you received a scholarship, award or honour from your time in college, then absolutely include this in your profile as well. This tells recruiters and employers more about your work at college or university and how much of an asset you’d be to their organisation.
It’s really simple to add all of these extra sections to your profile: simply go to Edit Profile from the drop-down menu, then click on “Add Sections to your profile”. If you want to show off your college projects and courses over your professional working experience, then drag and drop the section to your preferred area of your profile where recruiters or employers will see this first in your profile.
As a recent graduate myself, I know just how valuable scholastic achievements can be when applying for an internship or first job out of college. It’s so hard to get a foot in the door these days, so you need to optimise your profile to its best potential and really showcase what you’ve achieved to date. We train recruiters to source candidates directly using LinkedIn, and many will research a candidate using candidates’ Social Media presence anyway. It’s imperative that your social media profile is optimised towards getting a job, and showcasing your skills to potential employers using a CV platform like LinkedIn is ideal. For more ways to optimising your social media profiles to find a job, check out our free webinar here.