The world’s largest professional network is LinkedIn, but in early childhood education and care (ECEC) circles, it’s a resource which is underutilised.
Both recruiters and employers will look for new candidates or research prospective employees via LinkedIn, so if you’re looking to advance as an ECEC professional, it makes sense to have a presence there.
LinkedIn allows ECEC professionals to connect with others in the sector, and in allied sectors, and is an opportunity to learn, engage and showcase skills to prospective employers.
Isn’t it just like an online resume?
Some people believe that LinkedIn is simply like an online version of a resume, not realising the opportunities that the dynamic platform offers for establishing a professional network and brand, and for staying connected with developments in the ECEC sector.
Creating a profile on LinkedIn is quick and simple, and the inbuilt tools on the website allow users to connect with colleagues and peers and join relevant sector groups to expand your professional network.
Use words and photos to stand out
Having a professional photo can support you to stand out and to make a strong first impression.
Choosing a professional photo can also help current and past coworkers to find you easily. Your photo should be well lit, have a clear background and show a genuine smile, all of which create an impression of a friendly and approachable person.
Along with a good photo, having a compelling biography is important, which is a great opportunity to introduce yourself to prospective employers in your own words.
In this section, you can outline your skills, experience and aspirations. Here you can mention your areas of expertise, career highlights, and any valuable skills you can bring to employers.
Tap into talents
As well as listing skills and former workplaces, it’s important to highlight your talents, showcase your work experience, accomplishments and the impact you’ve had in a role.
Have you won an award? Introduced a new programming format? Supported a family through a difficult transition?
You can use bullet points to highlight your responsibilities or achievements, and the roles you took on during your time.
If you’re new to the sector, you can include any placements or volunteer roles.
Highlight your education
You have worked hard for your qualifications, and LinkedIn is the perfect place to show them off.
Whether it’s an RTO, University or trainee positions, education deserves to be celebrated. Don’t forget to include any additional courses you’ve undertaken, or any aligned experiences such as presenting at professional conferences or events.
Networking and job hunting, as with many things, happens predominantly online, making a professional online presence more important than ever.
For more information about LinkedIn please see here.