Launched on May 5, 2003, LinkedIn is known as one of the oldest social networks. Photo credit: Sevval Kokten

Many students are confused about how to use LinkedIn. Some think of it as a social media platform, such as Facebook, while others see it as a job portal. Both assumptions are correct. However, there is a distinction between the two: Unlike Facebook, professionals use LinkedIn because it offers individuals more opportunities than just searching for job openings.

The Employment Support Centre at Algonquin College recently hosted a free virtual workshop titled “Build Your LinkedIn Profile” for international students. The workshop aims to help students build a compelling LinkedIn profile by covering what information to put on different sections of their accounts to achieve an “all-star” rating.

“Whenever you’re creating a LinkedIn profile, the aim is to get an all-star profile,” said Algonquin employment officer, Jessica Andrews. “There are certain sections of your LinkedIn profile that have to be completed in order for your LinkedIn to stand out.” This will give individuals a chance to stand out 40 times more than other profiles.

The workshop provided tips to create your LinkedIn account, some included adding a professional profile picture and captivating headlines. For your headlines, “avoid using the default titles and try to come up with something creative and industry focused,” Andrews advised.

Other ways to strengthen your profile are: listing educational backgrounds; joining groups, following companies; making connections; recording skills; adding industry and location; adding insights on your personality in your about section; staying updated by upgrading your profile; creating original content; commenting and reacting to peoples content and participating in group discussions.

The sections on LinkedIn profiles need to be filled in with relevant information. Some profiles might be impressive, but they lack accuracy and validity, which causes complications for both employers and candidates.

Canadian Stats from Online Business Canada stated that 44 per cent of Canadians are using LinkedIn. Among these numbers, 27 per cent are on LinkedIn every day. Since 2017, the website has been among the top platforms to have consistent user growth.

Users can even complete online LinkedIn learning courses related to interests in their field. People can also let companies know that they are searching for a job by adding an “open to work” filter to their profile pictures. Profiles will immediately pop up on recruiters’ pages according to their job titles.

“There was a need from international students for extra employment support, and so we created these workshops to help reach more students at once to provide the information to be more successful,” Andrews said. “We also would receive requests from the International Education Centre, and they work heavily with international students, so they also know the need.” The workshops are provided every semester with good attendance numbers.

For more information on LinkedIn or any other resources, whether virtual or in-person, students are welcome to reach out to Employment Support Centre or e-mail to book an appointment.