We know it’s hard to find time to think about the future when you’re so busy dealing with weekly readings, imminent essay deadlines and the like, so we’ve come up with five “5 Minute Fixes” that you can easily fit into your day to help you start thinking about life after uni.
5 Minute Fixes: Google yourself
No, really. It’s important to be aware of your online profile, as employers will likely judge you on this as well as your application and CV. If the top search results include strong language or compromising 4am nightclub snaps, you might want to adjust your privacy settings or do a bit of spring cleaning.
Having and making use of a LinkedIn account is a good way of presenting a professional online profile to employers. If you can spare a bit more than five minutes, here are some quick steps you can take to make your LinkedIn profile more engaging and effective:
- Upload a professional photo – This makes you seem more approachable, but be sure to use a smart-looking headshot rather than the latest filter-heavy bathroom selfie from your Instagram.
- Customise your headline – This immediately tells potential employers who you are and what you’re looking for. It usually defaults to your latest job title, but you could swap it for something more in line with the kind of job you really want, e.g. Chemistry student at the University of Manchester with media experience in radio and print journalism.
- Use keywords in your summary – This is where you describe your achievements and what differentiates you from your peers. Highlight your interests and values as well as your skills and experience, and include keywords specific to the sort of career you’d like.
- Add skills – List the skills you have acquired from your degree and any work experience you have undertaken on your profile and see if your connections on LinkedIn will endorse you. Drag the skills most relevant to the sort of career you’d like to the top of the list.
- Create a “vanity” URL – Instead of settling for the stream of letters and numbers that LinkedIn automatically assigns you, create your own (neater) URL that you can then insert into your CV, e.g. http://uk.linkedin.com/in/joembloggs
For more detailed information on using social media and LinkedIn to get your career started, visit our website.