Looking to land your dream job this summer, but not sure what to include in your LinkedIn profile?
Do not worry ! Young position talks to Ellen Lai, regional director of recruitment agency Michael Page Hong Kong, about the essentials of crafting the perfect profile and how to create a stellar portfolio that will wow potential employers.
What do companies look for when hiring interns?
Companies are usually looking for someone with a relevant degree. For students, with previous experience in the field for which you are applying for aid. But don’t worry if this is your first time applying for an internship.
Personality and attitude also play a major role in internship selection – most organizations look for candidates who are responsible and eager to learn. Having a good GPA and a good track record of participating in extracurricular activities is also a plus.
Why is it important to have a LinkedIn presence?
LinkedIn is the largest business-focused networking website specifically for professionals. LinkedIn research has shown that 93% of recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn to source and research candidates.
As a job seeker, it’s also a great way to research a company. Additionally, as users expand their networks on LinkedIn, they can learn and be inspired by other users on the platform.
LinkedIn gives you the ability to connect with other people working in your chosen field. Photo: Shutterstock
How can students use LinkedIn to make their resume stand out?
As a student, the best way to highlight your profile is to list all your qualifications in detail. Include your school name, location, and field of study. It is always recommended to include your GPA if it is in the second level or above.
Use keywords related to the job you’re applying for, such as “marketing” or “engineering,” to increase the chances of your profile being seen by recruiters.
You should also showcase your skills in the “featured skills” section of your profile. Don’t forget to include any languages you’re fluent in, as well as any certifications and awards you’ve received.
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I have no work experience. What should I include in the “About” section of my profile?
This is great and employers will understand that this is the first time some interns are looking for a job. Instead, you can include your qualifications and goals. Most importantly, describe yourself, your skills and what makes you unique.
You can use this opportunity to introduce yourself to potential recruiters and future colleagues by stating your current academic status and sharing what you are looking forward to working on in the future. An example of this would be “Sophomore psychology student seeking a research role”.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to including your hobbies. However, it’s crucial to be smart about what hobbies you include, as this can affect how you meet potential employers. One way to do this is to include hobbies that might be beneficial or relevant to work, or group activities that demonstrate teamwork or resilience.
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Is it mandatory to include a photo?
Having a profile photo makes your profile 14 times more likely to be seen by others. The ideal profile photo would be a recent professional photo – a high resolution image (400 x 400 pixels) with your face taking up at least 60% of the frame.
Don’t forget to choose the right facial expression, as studies have shown that people view you as more likeable, knowledgeable, and influential if you smile in your photo. As for your outfit, a rule of thumb would be to wear what you would wear to work; that means no plunging necklines, neon colors or busy prints.
If you are taking a photo against a white background, it is recommended to wear a dark colored outfit for better contrast.
Make sure you don’t wear heavy prints or bright colors. Photo: Shutterstock
Should the “summary” be written in the first or third person, and what is the recommended word count?
A summary should be in the first person, as LinkedIn is a social media platform and writing in the third person can feel less personal.
There’s a 2,000-word limit for this section, and according to LinkedIn data, a longer summary is more likely to grab recruiters’ attention. However, it’s important to make sure that you only include essential and interesting information about yourself, and that you completely capture the essence of who you are and your professional experience.
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What should I put in the “Experience” section?
Include all relevant work experiences and link them to the respective companies. Start with a brief two-to-three-sentence outline to describe what your job entailed, along with some facts and figures, and follow up with no more than three to five bullet points indicating your accomplishments. Use action verbs such as “in charge of”, “organized”, “delivered” and “overhauled” to highlight your accomplishments and responsibilities.
It is always helpful to include volunteer experience and causes. 41% of LinkedIn recruiters say they consider it equivalent to full-time paid work. You can also list organizations you have been involved with or support.
Do not forget the section “Licenses and certifications”
Finally, don’t forget to complete the “Licenses and Certifications” section of your profile. You can list the online and offline courses or certifications you’ve earned to showcase the skills you’ve learned.