LinkedIn as a career enabler

Editor’s Note:

Being one of the first four LinkedIn India Campus Editors presented me with more than one opportunity to enhance career prospects for myself as well as that of my peers from Class of 2018. Some of the initiatives and achievements include:
  • Publishing Articles & Short Posts: As a cohort, Co18 managed to publish 40+ articles on LinkedIn, with topics ranging from on the job learnings to the trending cryptocurrencies to career switches & interview tactics to the psychological science of happiness.
    Achievement: Together we have received more than 1 million views on our profiles and tremendous visibility among networks.
  • Video Resumes: As the LinkedIn Campus Editor for ISB, I, with support from the Student Engagement & Applied Learning (SEAL) department, initiated recording video resumes of 18 students to be published on LinkedIn.
  • Achievement: The video resumes received more than one million views, resulting in interview calls for a few candidates.

Looking for and landing a job is hard work and being able to help my peers land the jobs of their dreams made me truly happy. Over and above the professional perks, as the LinkedIn Campus Editor for ISB, I got a chance to interact with, impact, and influence the entire Co18; building connections for life! 

Before you roll up your sleeves and start firing off resumes, consider stepping back to take a more strategic approach - create your profile as an individual member on LinkedIn to find and be found by former colleagues, clients, and partners.

First Things First: Rock Your LinkedIn Profile

  • Photo: Profiles with photograph have a greater chance of establishing credibility and be explored by people. Put your best face forward; use a professional photo.
  • Name: Ensure your name appears in the format “Abc Xyz” with only the first alphabet of first and last name in the capital.
  • Headline: The job of a good headline is to help you appear in searches and to attract views to your profile. LinkedIn will generate a headline for you based on your latest education or experience but that is too often chosen by many people.
    - Differentiate yourself by crafting a headline that is clear, specific, and engaging; your LinkedIn headline can be 120 characters long.
    - Use words recruiters are likely to use when searching LinkedIn for candidates
    - E.g., “Student at Indian School of Business” is clear but vague. “Strategy / Marketing student at Indian School of Business” is better, but doesn’t tell a recruiter if you have the experience or interest they’re looking for. Consider fuller headlines like “Strategy / Marketing student at Indian School of Business with a passion for product branding & operations strategy.”
  • Summary: Profiles with summaries have a better chance of being shortlisted for jobs as it helps recruiters understand more about the candidate.
    - Weave a story around how your expertise, experience, achievements, awards, and interests make you the person you are; describe how they link with your professional traits. Do not just add bullet points.
  • Experience: People have a very short attention span; so keep it short, silly!
    - Add company description (only if it is not a well-known company), key responsibilities, and any quantifiable achievements – honours, awards, promotions.
    - If you have had multiple jobs at one company, make a separate entry for each new function or promotion.
  • Skills: Mention skills relevant to the role and industry you are looking for in the “Skills” section of your profile. This will help make you more discoverable to recruiters.
  • Recommendations: A great way to snag that job or internship you have been dreaming of. Request recommendations from individuals who know your work well, and let them know the key areas or projects you’d like them to highlight.

Leverage LinkedIn: Build Connections

  • Follow the ISB page on LinkedIn
  • Add ISB alumni to your connections; the ones who work in a similar profile and industry that you wish to venture into will prove more meaningful.
  • You are now a part of a network that consists of your connections, your connections’ connections, and the people they know; thus linking you to thousands of qualified professionals.
  • Pro Tip: Uploading your connections to LinkedIn App will allow you to easily see who you know at companies that you are interested in.
  • Join Groups: Group membership allows you to reach target individuals without having to know their email address or having a first-degree connection. This way you can grow your network and expand your follower base.

Leverage Linkedin: Build Your Own Brand (BYOB)

  • Publish on LinkedIn: Write short-form updates or long-form articles to showcase your thoughts and ideas to potential recruiters. Let them know you are more than just a few degrees; that you are passionate about a subject, enjoy delving into the nuances of a topic, and put forth your analytical thoughts in a structured manner.
  • Follow: Follow influencers or experts in your field. You can follow company pages and groups to get regular updates on your area of interest and stay abreast with current topics/issues trending in the field.

Leverage LinkedIn: Get Your Dream Job

  • Job Search: Create and save one or more searches in the Jobs tab on your homepage, based on the specialisations such as Strategy & Leadership, Operations, Marketing, Information & Technology Management, Finance, Entrepreneurship
  • Company Search: You can look out for vacancies in specific companies/industries that you are interested in searching for the company/industry’s official page and reading up about their jobs. A few industry-based searches on specialisations provided at ISB are Healthcare, Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Public Policy
  • People Search: It is advisable to read the background of hiring managers prior to interviews, discover contacts you can reach out to for informational interviews, and ask your LinkedIn connections to introduce you to their contacts at target companies.

Leverage LinkedIn Network

LinkedIn has more than 500 million professionals worldwide and capturing the attention of even a fraction of this network can help you land internships, jobs, and most importantly, valuable connections for life! No matter the industry, your career progression hinges upon developing relationships with like-minded professionals and serving as a resource to others. So before embarking on your career search, tell your story on LinkedIn and make yourself memorable!

“Most people think the best way to excel at an interview is to answer questions better than any other candidate. But, the more important skill is to weave those questions into a story, a narrative that gives the interviewer a sense of who you are and what you’re about.” - Jim Citrin, CEO Recruiter

- Curated by Madhuri Varma, LinkedIn Campus Editor, PGP Class of 2018