As you may have heard, Scotiabank no longer requires resumes from students applying to our co-ops, internships, or new graduate programs! We want to get to know our students for who they are and learn about all the experiences that have shaped them, not just their work experience.

As more employers move away from formal job applications, LinkedIn has become a popular tool for showing potential employers what you’re all about. Your LinkedIn profile allows you to showcase not only your education and previous work experience but also your interests and passions through the content you create or share. It’s important to recognize that LinkedIn is an active platform, readily available to recruiters, hiring managers, and leaders from all over the world. Because of this, it is important to create a profile that is captivating and provides a holistic overview of who you are and what you bring to the table.

Here are a few tips for creating a professional and compelling LinkedIn profile to help you make a great first impression on potential employers!

1.       Know your audience

Unlike resumes, a LinkedIn profile shouldn’t be tailored to a specific role. Your profile should speak to a variety of opportunities and organizations. When creating your summary and showcasing your top skills or interests, remember your LinkedIn profile should speak to all potential employers! It’s helpful to outline your skills, knowledge, and qualifications as they relate to your industry or area of interest as opposed to a specific job title.

2.       Select the right profile picture

One of the first things people see when viewing your profile is your profile picture. When selecting the right photo, it’s important that it’s high quality, it has a simple, not distracting background, and that you appear professional and approachable. The most important piece to remember is that people love to hire happy people! The key to a great LinkedIn photo is a great smile.

3.       Utilize the ‘Featured’ section

A new LinkedIn feature that you should consider using is the ‘Featured’ section. The platform has provided its users the opportunity to showcase their top posts or work samples on their profiles. Take advantage of this feature! This is a great way to show potential employers what you’re most passionate about, to showcase content you’ve created or work that you’re proud of.

4.      Share your professional experiences

While brainstorming how to describe your professional experiences, make sure to be concise and compelling. Include past positions, initiatives, and skillsets you have built but don’t over-communicate. Your audience wants to know high-level details about your experiences, there is no need to go too in-depth!

5.       Create a powerful profile summary

Think of your “About” section, or profile summary, as your ‘elevator pitch’. Your summary is an opportunity to define yourself in your own words. It should include a brief description of who you are, your passions, career choices, achievements, etc. This strengthens your first impression with future connections, so make sure it’s authentic and reflects the true you!

6.      Think beyond your formal education
Many people include the schools they’ve attended and degrees or diplomas they’ve received in the “Education” section of their profile. Ensure to include any certifications or workshops you’ve completed here – these are important, too! This shows employers any areas you’re a specialist in and extra skills you have that to help you stand out.

7.       Be active on the platform
Once you build your profile, it's essential to keep the momentum going! Add connections, follow people who inspire you, like and comment on posts. Share content that you’re passionate about and that is relevant to the industries and areas that you are interested in. Being active on the platform will help you continue to build your professional network and personal brand online.  

Written By: Jessica McKenzie, Senior Program Manager, Recruitment

For other helpful career tips & tricks, check out more of our Advice series on our Life at Scotiabank blog page here!