Mastering LinkedIn in a digital world

How can you use LinkedIn to boost your chances of finding a job? LinkedIn expert and international student, Ashwin Chhaperia, offers the tips you need to know.

 

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It’s no secret that we’re living in a digital world. Smartphones are an everyday accessory. Internet access is widely available from just about anywhere. We have a wealth of information and knowledge right at our fingertips. Thanks to social media, we’re able to connect with people and organisations from all corners of the world. This is especially helpful if you’re an international student studying with Australia from your home country, online. From the comfort of your own home, you can still build your network in Australia.

With roughly 756 million users worldwide, LinkedIn is one of the most popular social media platforms used today. Given that three people get hired via LinkedIn every minute, it’s easy to see why.

By now, you may be convinced of the importance of having a LinkedIn profile to boost your chances of landing a job. But you may still be wondering this: how can I master LinkedIn and make my profile stand out to employers?

To find some answers, we spoke to Ashwin Chhaperia (they/them), international student and founder of a LinkedIn growth coaching business. They offer helpful tips for international students hoping to take their LinkedIn profiles to the next level. 

1. Showcase your personal brand


According to Ashwin, you should avoid using your LinkedIn profile as a virtual résumé. Instead, they suggest, use it to highlight who you are as a person and a professional.

“Yes, you should include all relevant work and volunteering experience. Beyond that, use LinkedIn to give people an insight into the kind of person you are. Use it to document your personal growth journey and, more importantly, to develop your personal brand.”

2. Use hashtags with care


Certain social media sites, such as Instagram, limit how many hashtags you can add to a post. But others, including LinkedIn, do not set a cap. As a result, it can be easy to go a little overboard. 

To avoid overwhelming readers, Ashwin recommends sticking with five or six hashtags per post. They also advise you to be strategic when choosing your hashtags. This ensures your post gets the maximum reach to the most relevant users.

“Ensure your hashtags are a mix of broad and niche. For example, ‘law’ would be a broad hashtag but ‘contract law’ would be the niche,” explains Ashwin.

3. Include a pronunciation guide for your name


As Ashwin points out, many international students have unique names influenced by their cultures, and your fellow LinkedIn users may come from very different backgrounds from yours. So, they may not know how to pronounce your name properly. Fortunately, there’s an easy way for you to tell them.

“Include a pronunciation guide for your name in your profile. Although, do realise that this can only be done via the mobile app for now,” says Ashwin. “Some of us may have names that are hard to pronounce but it’s important to be proud of your heritage and your culture. Own your name and get others to pronounce it properly.”

4. Include keywords


Ashwin also recommends using relevant keywords in the ‘About’ section of your profile. Doing so could boost your chances of making valuable connections with employers. 

“Keywords are indexed by LinkedIn search and even Google! The more relevant your keywords are, the more likely you are to appear in someone’s search,” they say. 

5. Share your unique perspective


As an international student, you have a one-of-a-kind voice. You face unique challenges and you have creative ideas for overcoming them. According to Ashwin, you shouldn’t shy away from including your unique perspective in your LinkedIn posts.

“Talk about the challenges we face as international students. The same job, project or assignment will have different hurdles for a local and for an international student. Capitalise on that. Talk about how you successfully dealt with them,” they say. “Not only can they be a great source of inspiration to others, but posts like these also show that you are a determined individual who is capable of adapting to change.”

6. Focus on creating engaging content


Rather than concentrating on likes or comments, you should aim to create interesting content. Ashwin highlights that “no matter which platform you are on, users want engaging and relatable content,” above all else. 

What should that content look like? That’s up to you. 

“You define what your content is, no-one else,” they say. “Made a meal for the first time? Post about resilience and courage. Had an interesting conversation with your barista? Post about making new connections. Decide what types (or buckets) of posts you want to create and stick to them. My buckets, for example, are personal growth, leadership, motivation and student life.”

7. Keep showing up


Mastering LinkedIn isn’t a one-time effort – it’s an ongoing practice. To boost your profile’s performance, you need to remain active on the platform. 

“LinkedIn’s algorithm prefers users who engage, engage and engage,” explains Ashwin. “The more you engage with other people’s content (like, comment or share), the more likely people are to find you.”

If you can, try to log into your account and interact with your connections every day. According to Ashwin, many estimates suggest that only one per cent of all LinkedIn users do this. 

“Be in that top one per cent,” they urge. “Get noticed.” 

 

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