We interviewed Abdul-Basit Mohammed, a Brunel Business School student completing his BSc (Hons) International Business degree on his success on LinkedIn. Abdul is currently employed with British Sky Broadcasting Ltd and shares his experience of using LinkedIn as a student to encourage others to follow suit and reap the rewards.
So get to it, set up your profile and connect with Adbul-Basit today!
Why did you first create a LinkedIn profile?
I have always tried to be up to date with social media platforms and while on placement the social media manager advised me to be active on LinkedIn.
How difficult was it for you to complete the details?
It took time getting used to it because unlike social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, it is more professional but like the other social media platforms once you get the hang of it, you get addicted.
Did you get any guidance or training on using it?
No, I worked things out on my own. I made time for going on LinkedIn, having a look at what others who are similar to me are doing and incorporating different ideas.
How did you go about connecting with people?
I first added my friends and anytime I went to events and spoke at events to someone that I felt will be a good contact, I asked them if I can add them to my network. After a while I started getting request from other people on LinkedIn.
Were you approached with any offers?
Since joining LinkedIn, I have been contacted about job offers and had 5 interviews so far. I got my current part-time job through LinkedIn while at Brunel University.
How did you secure your job opportunities?
I made sure the people and groups I follow are within the industries I am hoping to get employed in. I also follow recruitment agents, agencies and keep in touch with them. The most important thing of all is my profile; with LinkedIn your profile, network of connections, the companies you follow, groups you follow and comments/posts all serves as a CV. You can now apply for jobs on some company websites with your LinkedIn account and it’s even easy to apply for jobs within LinkedIn.
What opportunities did you get from LinkedIn?
I got to meet people I would have never had the opportunity to meet and get invited to events I wouldn’t have had the chance to go to. You get an insight into certain industries too, through the groups you follow. I have a good example. I have always had an interest in CSR, Ethics and Sustainability but it is a very difficult sector to get into. After working at Sky for a while I realised they are involved in this and created a whole department “The Bigger Picture”, so I added a few executives on LinkedIn and sent an email at work and asked them to have lunch with me. As a result I had lunch with the former head of the department who put me in contact with the current head and we will be meeting soon, to see how I can gain a voluntary experience.
What advice would you give to other students who want to set up a profile on LinkedIn?
As students we all know networking is very important for students and graduates, so why not have all your contacts in one platform. I advise students to join LinkedIn and start by adding fellow students and try to be active users. I will sometimes come across certain opportunities not suited for me so I will think of a former classmate or colleague and send it to them.
What advice would you give other students who are currently looking for a job on LinkedIn?
I know a lot of students and graduates say there aren’t any jobs out there but this is not true. There are jobs out there, but as a student or graduate you might not have the necessary skills and experience for a lot of the roles. LinkedIn is a platform that supports students and graduates because it promotes a lot of Graduate schemes, entry level jobs and placements. There is a whole section dedicated to students. The best thing about LinkedIn is that although paying members have a lot of benefits, you don’t have to pay to reap all the benefits and opportunities.
Have you seen any benefits from joining Groups on LinkedIn?
Yes, joining Groups on LinkedIn has a lot of advantages. Apart from the jobs tab, you have the discussions tab for interacting, members tab to see what professions other members are in and you can add them to your network and the promotion tab to see what opportunities are being promoted and for you to promote yourself. You can ask so many questions within groups and get a lot of help from group members.
Is completing a profile on LinkedIn enough? What other things should students be doing?
Completing a profile is very important because people and employers can overlook an incomplete profile. you see the difference when your profile is complete because employers start contacting you. Having said this, that is not enough. Being successful on LinkedIn involves a multitude of activities. You need to be active, get involved in discussions, post your interests and questions, promote yourself and keep up to date with the articles, journals and posts others put up that might interest you. If your other social media platforms have professional profiles you can connect them to your linked in account to expand your reach to employers.
We wish Abdul all the best in his future endeavours, especially as he becomes a dad soon!