By Donna Sevilla
Humber students and faculty got an inside look at how the professional networking site, LinkedIn, can increase their chances of employment at LinkedIn Bootcamp on Thursday morning.
The event took place at Humber’s North campus.
“LinkedIn is about networking. Networking isn’t something you can do in one day,” said Byung Oh, social media co-ordinator at Humber Lakeshore’s career centre.
Oh has been giving lectures in classrooms by teachers’ requests for almost five years, and said the bootcamp has been running for two.
LinkedIn started out with people in their late forties or older, who were in high positions, but has since become popular with young adults searching for jobs, he said.
Oh presented statistics from a 2013 Social Recruiting Survey by U.S.-based recruiting platform, Jobvite.
The study showed that social media has become an important avenue for employers to look into potential employees.
- 93 per cent of recruiters are likely to look at a candidate’s social profile
- 78 per cent of recruiters have hired through a social network
- 68 per cent of companies offer referral compensation to gain a competitive edge in hiring
Two key factors that employers look for in LinkedIn profiles are the use of industry-related keywords, and whether or not the candidate would fit with the company’s brand.
“You don’t customize for your position. You customize for your career,” said Oh.
He also recommended that people take time to make their profiles visually appealing.
Five tips for improving your LinkedIn profile:
- Use a professional photo – A LinkedIn profile is like a resume with a photo on it, so don’t use your Facebook display picture.
- Write a good headline – Make it brief, but also use keywords that recruiters will recognize.
- Include your education – Recruiters want to know what a candidate has studied, as well as what courses they’ve taken.
- Work experience is a must – Include links to projects that you’ve worked on to create a more visually appealing and informative profile. Oh recommends using slideshare to upload pieces for a digital portfolio.
- Get endorsed! Endorsements from your connections will help promote the skills on your profile, which shows recruiters that you actually have the knowledge and skills required for the job.
Lucy Frechette, a professional in public relations and marketing, said she’s had LinkedIn for a long time, but she learned a lot from the bootcamp.
There is more to the networking site than simply creating a profile, she said. New features have been developed over the years.
“This is just another great tool to add to their toolbox that they can use and to try to get their dream job placement,” Frechette said.
“Companies not only like to look at a resume, but also see what their chosen candidate looks like online. What does their online profile look like? Is it consistent to what they have on paper?”
Many of the participants who attended the bootcamp said they see LinkedIn as more than another job site.
“It’s about selling yourself and creating (your profile) in such a way that people will gravitate towards viewing your profile,” said Bryan Leahing, a final-year student in the Humber’s post-graduate project management program.
He said he has used other job sites, but LinkedIn enables him to connect with people who are outside his network.