LinkedIn is More than Just Another Social Media Platform
Despite the world-wide recognition of LinkedIn, there is still a lot of confusion related to this social media platform, especially among young adults. Many people still consider LinkedIn as just another social media network, like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. However, LinkedIn is more than just a platform for socialising. It not only connects a job-seeker with potential employers, but is also an invaluable resource in various aspects to both working adults and students alike.
Online Workshop on How to Utilise LinkedIn Effectively
Due to the many added benefits of this vital platform, the external relations department at Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences organised an online workshop on 26 May for students keen on finding out how to use LinkedIn effectively. The hour-long workshop entitled 'Tips & Tricks on Using LinkedIn Effectively' was conducted by Wittenborg Alumni, Aydan Ismayilova, MBA, PMP, who is also Wittenborg’s EU Project Coordinator and Junior Researcher.
Ismayilova, who is from Baku, Azerbaijan, graduated with an MBA in General Management from Wittenborg in 2020. She discovered the incredible potential of LinkedIn while working on her thesis in terms of finding suitable companies/professionals for her research. In the workshop, which was hosted by Yanti Setiawan and attended by more than 15 students from Wittenborg's Apeldoorn/Amsterdam and Munich campuses, Ismayilova shared some tips and tricks on how to use LinkedIn to students’ advantage.
To debunk the first misconception by many people that LinkedIn is just another social media platform, Ismayilova stressed that different platforms portray different angles of a person's identity. LinkedIn is geared more towards the professional side of a person as compared to Facebook, which is more for family or friends, and Instagram, more for pictures of outings or adventures.
Ismayilova added that LinkedIn is unique and different from other social media platforms as it is used by companies, institutions and individuals to build up professional communities and networks. It is not only for people to find jobs, but it also allows members to seek new projects or contracts, internships, events, courses or other opportunities, which can help enhance a person’s professional development and career prospects.
Ismayilova encouraged students to start early in building up their profiles in LinkedIn, since, if they are not in LinkedIn, they practically do not exist in the professional labour market. And this labour market transcends geographical locations, boundaries and cultures. LinkedIn popularity has spread to not only faraway places but also to conservative cultures. Alina Davidova, a Russian student studying at Wittenborg’s Munich campus, said that social media networking is very new in Russia and she has just started to explore LinkedIn, and found it useful for her personal career.
Useful Tips & Tricks in Using LinkedIn
Useful Tips & Tricks in Using LinkedIn
Ismayilova's tips on how to boost your profile:
- Take time to build up a good, professional profile in LinkedIn. Tell your own story, not copy and paste from other people’s profiles. First impressions matter.
- Be transparent about yourself, your personality, your experiences, skills, awards, certificates and interests and do not be shy to ‘show off’ your skills and credentials.
- Get endorsements or recommendations from your lecturers, managers, friends and colleagues.
- Be active and write or share interesting posts or links to news, events or publications.
- Join various groups based on your areas of interest or experience.
- Show your altruistic and sharing nature. Describe where or how you have shared your expertise, skills and accomplishments - employers like that.
Tips on how to use LinkedIn as a platform for research thesis
- Search for suitable companies or key persons and shortlist them.
- Send short but concise messages informing them of your intent. Do an elevator pitch.
- Follow-up if you do not receive responses and send thank you notes to those who responded, even if it was a rejection response.
- Start early to allow time to build up your network, to wait for responses or to change plans if necessary.
To summarise the session, Ismayilova reminded students to start creating their profiles in LinkedIn if they have not already done so. Besides that, they have to be pro-active and do their own research instead of just waiting for opportunities to come by. Spending time on this platform is a valuable investment where they can reap great benefits. Time invested in this is definitely much better than watching movies or spending time on other social networking platforms. Setiawan supported the reminder and said that many Wittenborg students managed to get internships or job offers via searches in LinkedIn.
Students can check out the pages of their targeted employers and look for events or opportunities that they can participate in. Better still, if they have created a good and detailed professional profile, they may attract an employer’s attention and may even get an invitation to apply for a job position.
The video to the online session can be found here.
by Hanna Abdelwahab