It is important when you are searching for a science job that you do not limit yourself to traditional job boards and scientific publications. You must utilize all the tools available to you.
LinkedIn is one of the best tools you can use to help you find that dream science job. LinkedIn is a business networking site which was launched in May 2003 with only 300 users. Since then it has seen unprecedented growth with 50,000,000 users in October 2009, and 1,400 new users each day. It is essentially your chance to showcase your strengths, thus encouraging not only the right people, but also the right opportunities to come to you. The best way to do this is to create a great profile. Below are some tips to help you do so:
Linked In Profile Tips
1. Upload a picture: Make this a professional headshot − nothing inappropriate!
2. Summary: Write this in the mindset of a prospective employer. It might be best to write this in Microsoft Word first so that you can easily cut, paste and edit − this might also help you to organize your thoughts. When writing the summary it might be useful for you to keep in mind the following: If someone were introducing you to another person, what would you want this person to know about you and why? Mention the following:
- Who are you currently? What company do you work for and what makes them special?
- What have you accomplished? Pick 3-5 things − they can be regarding jobs, education, and honours.
- Goals that you would like to achieve in the future.
- In the specialties section, list any trade or skill which you think you have learnt with some ability.
3. Descriptions about past jobs: This will help viewers understand where you come from in more depth than your summary will.
- Treat this as your online CV − the easiest way to complete this section is to cut and paste sections of your CV, to ensure it includes a good number of keywords.
- Use bullet points.
- Include any contract work, non-profit assignments, or any other work experience.
4. Education: Start at Secondary and Undergraduate education. You can also list vocational education or any courses you have attended.
5. Have more than 30 contacts: This shows viewers of your profile that you are professional and that you know how to network. Also, by increasing the number of people you are connected to, you increase the likelihood of people viewing your profile.
6. Recommendations:Sometimes, what other people write about you is more valuable that what you write about yourself. A good way to get recommendations is to recommend other people. Recommendations don't necessarily have to come from people who work above you.
7. Customise your URL: This will help your profile rank higher on Google and make it easier for people to find you. Your LinkedIn URL should appear as“http://linkedin.com/in/yourfullname.” To do this, go to your profile and click “edit” and then next to where it says “public profile,” click “edit” again. At the top, you'll want to click “edit” one more time next to “your public profile URL,” and then type in your full name, without spacing, and click “set address.” If the unique URL is taken, then try using a period between your first and last name or use your middle initial.
- Make sure your profile is completely grammatically correct and that each section is complete.
- Flood your profile with lots of keywords relevant to the scientific industry you work in.
- Frequently update your status with useful content, where possible including a link back to the company website.
- Actively comment on Linked In discussion forums − this gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your skills and knowledge of relevant industries. These discussion forums are essentially a 24/7 networking event.