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LinkedIn Profile Checklist

If you really want to make an entrance and impact on the graduate job market and get noticed (for the right reasons!) then there are a few core things you should make sure are in order for your LinkedIn Profile.

Your digital profile is a big deal in this day and age; recruiters will both source candidates for their roles across recruitment sites and professional networks as well as screen applicants to their programmes to check they’re legitimate in their statements and appear to fit the image of a bright young thing with bags of knowledge and potential for their roles.

So it’s time to clear out any unsavoury images and content from your social media profiles that won’t impress your employer, and beef up your LinkedIn profile with the good stuff. Here’s a quick checklist for the essentials:

Is your LinkedIn profile image suitable?

It’s perfectly understandable that you might not have a professional headshot at this stage. But don’t worry, your LinkedIn profile image it doesn’t have to be an image of you with your head slung back laughingly over your shoulder as you lounge back on a chair, monochrome style.

Your profile is all about drawing in attention from recruiters and contacts on your skills and professional capabilities.  It’s a good idea to have an image because it’s a nice way of presenting yourself as personable and approachable. As long as you get the image right!

Any pictures of you on the wrong side of a jovial drink or two won’t really do for this purpose. Use a high quality image that shows your face clearly and looking cheerful. Looking like a miserable sod or someone with a pout to match the size of a massive ego trip will only be setting you up for a serious lack of interest from your potential employers.   

Have you got your dates right?

Make sure you’ve correctly logged working periods for your work experience, internship and any jobs you’ve held previously. Inaccurate dates and timescales can be frustrating for recruiters when they’re trying to figure out where you’ve been.

Be honest with your working and studying periods on the CV and applications. Stretching the truth and saying you did a ten-week internship which was actually a matter of a few days will not go under the radar! And dates can be very easy to mix up when you’re writing down your experience, so make a mental note to go back and check they’re in order separately before you press submit for anything.  

Is the information about you succinct?

People engage differently with the information they read online compared to the things they read on paper. With this in mind, no one wants to trawl through your life story, online –even if it is in a glorious digital format!

Don’t be too long-winded in your explanations of your work experience, studies and extra-curricular activities. Simple formats like the use of bulleted lists work well for online CVs and profiles.

Have you included your extra-curricular activities?

It’s okay to show your social side through your extra-curricular activities too! Finance firms want to recruit interesting people with diverse hobbies and personalities, so it’s beneficial to include these on your LinkedIn profile. It can give potential recruiters an insight into your personality at a glance and your interests outside of your studies and career ambitions.

Extra-curricular activities are a top way to demonstrate soft skills, which are also crucial for successful finance professionals. If you don’t partake in any just yet, it’s well worth a try!

Are you following the right people and companies?

Anyone taking a peak at your LinkedIn profile will also be able to see the organisations and people you’re following or connected to, as well as the groups and forums you’re a part of on the network.

When you’re entering into job-hunt mode, you might want to make sure the best, most relevant connections are visible on your profile for the benefit of any recruiters who could be casting their eye over your credentials on the web. 

By Jos Weale, Editor, AllAboutFinanceCareers.com