Application season: Cultivate your LinkedIn profile (Part 1) 

During my first year at King’s, I found myself attending a casual social event at the Pret by the Strand campus. As the coffee date concluded, an unexpected question came my way: “May I have your LinkedIn profile?” I was taken aback – who asks for someone’s LinkedIn profile, right? 

Yet, this seemingly unusual request is becoming increasingly prevalent, and with good reason. LinkedIn, the powerful networking platform, has transformed the way professionals connect within the industry, fostering relationships with potential employers, colleagues, and mentors. Embracing this trend can open doors to exciting career opportunities and fruitful collaborations. 

If you’ve not gotten yourself a LinkedIn profile yet, here’s a checklist to get you started! 

Assess your email address 

Your email address is often the first point of contact for employers, and it speaks volumes about your professionalism and attention to detail. If your email address contains personal information, nicknames, or anything questionable, set up a new professional email account. Whenever possible, opt for simplicity and use your name as your email address. Doing so not only enhances your image but also, you can easily find specific communications and references when needed. 

Photo in a suitable attire for your industry 

A professional LinkedIn photo doesn’t necessarily mean a formal portrait in a suit; but it should be clear, well-lit, and presents you in a professional context. A picture on your profile not only increases your visibility in LinkedIn searches, but it also establishes credibility and trust. 

Craft a standout headline 

Tailoring your LinkedIn headlines to match your industry or present career role is entirely within your control. To enhance your visibility among recruiters, consider incorporating relevant keywords into your headline such as: job position (or the name of your degree and field of study), experience, location, skills, services, or general keywords related to your industry. A basic headline should consist of: (Title)-(Company)-(Unique Selling Point). 

Manage your public profile URL 

Customise your public profile URL to remove the series of random numbers of letters that usually comes with the default URL. This feature allows you to not only make your profile look more professional and cleaner, but you can customise it to reflect your personal branding. Learn how to do so here.  

Create a visual header 

A visual header on your LinkedIn profile provides an excellent opportunity to showcase your personal brand and demonstrate who you are to employers. Examples of visual headers you may want to consider are a professional image, company branding, call-to-action, testimonials, or highlight achievements. 

Narrative of your career to date 

Fill in the rest of your profile: work experience, education, volunteering, skills, licenses and certifications, projects, courses, and recommendations. More details on how to fill in these sections available here on KEATS! 

Now that you’ve got your profile established, it’s time to make connections and grow your network!