A student's little black book of contacts - the benefits of LinkedIn

I spent of lot of my time helping escapees find their first job. As part of this is, I maintain a network of contacts to help students get their foot in the door. We all know how important it is to know the right people and belong to the right network - something that not every student does enough of, but could help them land their dream job. 

An easy way for students to get networking is to set up a LinkedIn profile. It can help introduce you to key contacts in the industry and get your CV in front of the right people. Most companies are on there – we’ve got over 1,000 followers on our Escape Studios groups - a mix of students and industry pros from the likes of Framestore and Pixar. They are all a great resource for students who want to find out the latest info and talk about what’s happening in the CG world. 

I’ve got few tips that might help you get your LinkedIn profile going:

1) Get the basics done - when you sign up, you need to add in the usual info (your name, education, interests) - the more you fill in, the more complete your profile appears so spend the time adding your details and even a picture - just remember it needs to be one you wouldn't mind a future boss seeing. This is also another great opportunity to show off your work so make sure you include a link to your showreel in the website section
2) Join the right groups - you should not only think about connecting to people from your course or went to school with, but also groups linked to your interests and career. Whether you want to see what we're up to, or check out Animation and Film Jobs which has over 9,000 members, it's worth digging around to see what groups are out there.
3) Give group discussions a go - if you've got a view on something, try commenting on the discussion topics (at the top of most group pages). It looks good to a future boss to see you're passionate about the industry and might help get you find more useful contacts to add.
4) Recommendations really help - as you get connected to more people, it's good to get recommendations added to your profile. It might be a tutor, a place where you did a placement or from an old employer, but any good comment will help boost your CV. Often the more recommendations you give, you'll find the favour's returned. So if you've worked with someone who impressed you, it might be worth saying good things about them and could help you get a recommendation.
5) Keep it fresh - an out of date profile is no good to anyone so make sure you update any big changes. It doesn't have to be a weekly thing, but if you've done some training, got a new job or new show reel, make sure it goes up there.

You can start your network straight away by connecting with me, this will give you an initial network of 400,000+ and you can build from there!

4 Comments Garreth Gaydon

Posted by
Garreth Gaydon
Tue 7 Sep 2010: 4:53pm

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Comments

  • Savyra Meyer:

    Really cool advice. Thanks!

  • David Cox:

    I should really go over mine again

    Thanks for the idea...

  • Chris:

    Some good tips here - I've had a LinkedIn profile for a while but didn't really feel I was getting the most out of it.

  • Lotty Wills:

    I have only just started using LinkedIn and this is really useful thanks.

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