In the digital age of professional networking, online profiles are a quick and effective go-to for connecting with colleagues, potential employers and industry peers.
An optimized profile can significantly enhance your online presence, boost your personal brand and open doors to exciting opportunities. Now you’re ready to find new partners with ProjectMatch, use these pointers to create a great profile and kick-start your networking!
A First Impression
Your name and profile photo are the first things visitors notice when they land on your ProjectMatch profile. It might seem simple and obvious, but making sure your name is spelled correctly, includes both your first and last name and the correct capitalisation gives in instant sense of professionalism.
When choosing your profile photo, try to use a high-quality, professional looking shot that represents ‘you at work’. This is essentially your first impression so a clear headshot with a friendly smile can help make a positive impact on potential connections and employers.
A Personal Summary
Your ProjectMatch summary is your chance to introduce yourself and make a strong impression but also to show off your interests and passions. Talk about your favourite parts of your course, or your career dreams. If you have ideas about the industry you want to go into, or different parts of yourself you want to bring together in your work, tell us about it!
Remember, your summary is not a carbon copy of your resume. Instead, it should tell a story about your career journey and aspirations. Use the first-person voice to make it more personal and engaging and make use of bullet points or paragraphs to maintain a clear and concise format.
Experiences, Achievements and Skills
Adding any education or work experience you already have is great for giving potential employers a head start on considering you for a role. But you don’t have to turn this into your full CV! Tailor this section to your aspirations and note any experiences, achievements or skills you’ve already got that show the journey you’re on. You can note here any points of learning you took away, or inspiration that the experience gave you.
And feel free to really highlight your accomplishments and demonstrate the impact you’ve made! If you have numbers or metrics that back this up, add them in, but personal and team accomplishments are just as important.
Help Them Find You
Remember that there are several filters and search options that employers can use when looking for students they are interested in working with. The main ones are: Subject Category (what is the umbrella topic of your studies i.e., Creative Arts, Engineering, Life Sciences etc.), Student Level (whether you are an undergrad, postgrad or PhD student) and Location. Make sure that you have added all these into your profile so that you are easy to find and contact.
There is also a keyword search option, so consider the words, terms or phrases that employers might be looking for in your area and where relevant, include them somewhere in your profile. For example, if an employer is looking for someone that has Java or C++ experience and that’s one of your top skills, they’ll only know if you’ve added that into your profile skills!
Be Active and Engage
And finally, don’t limit yourself to just a well-optimized profile, regularly engage with employers that you find interesting or would like to work with. Take a look through their company profiles as well and note any opportunities you see for you to contribute or make a difference. Send them a message with a thoughtful question about their work, or future goals. If you have a new idea for a project or collaboration, tell them about it.
Engagement helps to keep your connections active and fosters a sense of community, making others more likely to engage with you in return.
So, take a little time to craft your ProjectMatch profile to reflect who you are, but also where you’d like to go. Highlight your unique professional identity, present your skills, experiences and accomplishments, and reach out to new partners that could join you on your journey.