In the battle to land your dream job, LinkedIn is the most important weapon in your arsenal - especially when you have an MBA.
It’s the world’s largest professional network with more than 500 million users, and according to Social Media Today, 77% of the world’s jobs are posted on LinkedIn.
Spend time crafting your LinkedIn profile and you’ll vastly increase your chances of being seen by recruiters from the very best international companies, and increase your chances of getting the job you want with your globally recognised qualification.
But whatever you do, don’t just copy and paste your CV – LinkedIn demands much more than that.
Here are my top tips for creating the perfect MBA LinkedIn profile:
PhotoIt’s crucial to have one. Choose a headshot against a neutral background that is as professional-looking as possible – it’s worth investing in a professional photographer if you can.
HeadlineIt’s perhaps the most significant 120 characters you will ever write. It should include your MBA, the kind of position you’re after, and why you’re going to be an asset to any business.
Think: How do people see you? Fellow MBA students, lecturers, previous or current employers? Are you analytical? Numbers-oriented? Creative? Well-organised? It’s a good idea to brainstorm with people who really know you, and come up with a few words that define you. Ask yourself what your greatest talent is and ensure you include it.
Include keyword-rich skills. Have a look at the keywords used by people in the kind of position you’re after to see which to use. Also include the job titles you are seeking i.e. ‘analytical MBA graduate seeking senior marketing role.’
ExperienceThe best option for MBA graduates is a conversational but professional first person-style bio.
List all the benefits that doing an MBA has brought – that you’re now an all-rounder who has in-depth knowledge of all areas in business from HR to finance, and that you’re an ambitious individual ready to step up to the next level.
According to LinkedIn, including your two most recent positions makes your profile 12 times more likely to be found by recruiters. Don’t just list what your duties were though – list how you made a tangible impact to the bottom line. Include facts and figures where you can.
Think about selling yourself - LinkedIn is essentially an advert for ‘Brand You’. What differentiates you from others? What do you do better than most? Talk about values, passions, motivations, talents, accolades, awards, and stories that define who you are and what you can do in an approachable way.
Finally, end with a call to action – why and how would you like to be contacted? An email address will increase the numbers of recruiters approaching you.
Don’t write another thesis though – 2,000 characters max is ideal for this section. Try to use them all if you can.
RecommendationsThe more the better. Good recommendations rank you higher in LinkedIn’s search engine and will encourage recruiters to contact you. It’s a great idea to make recommendations for colleagues, ex-colleagues, and maybe fellow MBA students you’ve perhaps worked on a project with. Ask for recommendations and endorsements in return. Ask tutors, lecturers, and professors for recommendations too.
Hit 100%Studies suggest you receive 40% more recruitment approaches if your profile is complete, so keep going until you hit 100%. LinkedIn will tell you when you’ve reached the target. Then proof it closely - if it contains any typos and spelling mistakes, you’ll lose credibility.
Add connectionsStart with who you know – friends, professors, lecturers, colleagues, and employers. Then add people you’ve worked with before. Remember they too want to build their networks. Accepting requests from anyone and everyone is an effective way to build a network quickly but can be overwhelming. So maintain a balance, where you’ll happily connect with people from similar backgrounds or in similar jobs.
Use groupsGroups are the best way to expand your network with the most appropriate people. Join recruitment groups and ones relevant to your expertise and the industry you’re targeting.
Keep regularMake LinkedIn a regular habit. Every time you meet someone appropriate, add them as a connection, and try to schedule regular ‘LinkedIn time’ to keep your network constantly expanding.
Good luck with building your perfect LinkedIn profile – you’ve got the MBA, now nail this and you’ll be even closer to landing your dream job…
Victoria McLean, The CV Queen – CEO www.citycv.co.uk global award-winning career expert
This is great to know. Many Thanks.
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