By Diana Farah
Fresh university graduates seeking job opportunities should be active on social media in order to “be present in front of the right people,” said LinkedIn’s UAE territory director Sherif El Kheir February 7 at American University of Sharjah.
Speaking to about 50 AUS students at the Rock Your LinkedIn Profile workshop, El Kheir said that having a LinkedIn account is an effective way to connect with people who could possibly become mentors, or future bosses.
Graduates looking for jobs have to set up their accounts in a way that will look appealing to prospective employers, El Kheir said.
"The first step is to use a professional profile picture," he said. Pictures that have been taken at parties, or with friends should be avoided.
El Kheir added that writing up a good summary for the biography section of one's profile is extremely effective. Including keywords that will capture the attention of job hunters in relevant industries is one way to start, he said.
"Share your story in a first person point of view," El Kheir suggested. "Show your personality in your summary, and don’t make it seem like a resume."
However, keeping it short and to the point is key, he added.
Posting statuses and sharing thoughts regularly is another effective way to garner attention from relevant hiring companies or entrepreneurs.
El Kheir said engaging with different organizations on LinkedIn is important, even if there is no interest in being employed by them.
"Absorb all their information," he said. "The more you know about relevant companies, the easier it will be to pitch your profile to recruiters."
Connecting with friends and peers from the same universities is also a good way to find a job, El Kheir added.
"There are 14,672 AUS alumni on LinkedIn; find opportunities through them," he said.
Creating a network of colleagues, family, and friends can expand one's connections.
"LinkedIn is all about relationships," El Kheir said.
AUS student Malaak Khattab said she found the workshop useful, in that it helped her find ways to refresh her old profile.
"I have a LinkedIn account, but I didn't necessarily know how to use it to my advantage," Khattab said. "But the speaker did a very good job at explaining how to update it."
The LinkedIn workshop was part of the Job Hunter Challenge event held by the AUS School of Business Administration, which also included sessions on networking and business etiquette skills.
Diana Farah is a student in the AUS College of Arts and Sciences.
Visit www.aus.edu for more information about American University of Sharjah