First Thing’s First!

Can you think of a local or national company today that isn’t on some form of Social Media?

With the employment market becoming increasingly competitive; it’s time to start thinking outside of the box to get your foot in the door.  In the Digital Age Social Media is an extremely powerful tool to build networks and create employment opportunities.  For this post, we will be focusing on LinkedIn.  Whether you are a school/college leaver looking to gain an Apprenticeship opportunity, or a graduate/someone looking to get back into employment…you can use LinkedIn as an effective addition to your employment tool kit. LinkedIn

At first glance if you have not previously used LinkedIn it may seem overwhelming.  However, try to think of it as Facebook but for Business.  Just like Facebook it acts as a massive digital platform that allows people to connect with businesses as well as colleagues, and you can even promote your own business or employment needs.  It is a fantastic opportunity to create a professional looking and accessible online profile that captures your previous employment information, skills as well as a little bit about your personal interests.

Setting Up a Profile – Helpful Hints

Before you get started you will need access to your own person email address to set up your LinkedIn Profile.  Head to and follow the step by step instructions to create your profile.

Try and create as full a profile as possible including relevant information in all sections where possible.  This is a great opportunity to “sell yourself” to potential employers.  If you are a school leaver with no previous employment, why not include details about your work experience placement whilst at school – chances are the company itself or some of the employees will be on LinkedIn, this is a great start to building your network, and a great opportunity to find out about potential employment within the company.

Make your profile as sector relevant as possible…Think about your ideal job opportunity.  State what employment sector you are wanting to get into clearly on your profile.  What are the necessary skills you feel are relevant?  For example; if you want to work in Customer Service you will be a people person with bags of patience, if you want to get into Business Administration, you’d better organised!  Health and Social Care?  A big clue is in the title, being caring and empathetic are a must.  If you don’t have a specific skill yet, use this as an example to show what you are currently working on to gain employment.  This will show an employer that you can identify your own strengths and weaknesses.

Effective Use for Job Searching

Do you have any companies that you already know you would love to gain employment with?  If so make a list.  These could be companies based within your local area, or if you are wanting to locate you can research sector relevant companies in that geographical area.  You can then work through this list and start connecting with them on LinkedIn to see employment opportunities. LinkedIn Employment Opportunities

After making some relevant connections, why not start with your first LinkedIn post?  You could upload a word document with a short introduction, stating what employment sector you are interested in and why, and if you have had any previous experience already in this area.  It would be good to include a section about your hobbies and interests so that potential employers get more of an idea of who you are as a person you may have common interests and if your hobbies are sector relevant – even better!  The last section could include a little about how you keep up with your area of interest.  If you like IT, do you read any IT magazines or online blogs?  This will further demonstrate your dedication and interest.

Once the document has been finalised you can then publish it.  If you have friends and family on LinkedIn, you could ask them to share this post for you to their Network.

Favourite Features

One of my favourite LinkedIn functions is the endorsement option, which allows others who know or have worked with you previously to endorse your advertised skillset and experience and of course you can “pay it forward” and endorse others also.  Another great feature is the opportunity to state if you are looking for new employment opportunities, this affords employers the chance to connect and get in touch where relevant.  You can also congratulate others on new employment, as well as sending well wishes for birthdays; a further way of building your online presence.


Disclaimer: Internet Safety!

Always be vigilant whilst on Social Networking sites.  Stay safe and use your common sense.  For more information on Internet safety please follow the links below to further resources.