How to create the perfect LinkedIn Profile in 10 steps

How to create the perfect LinkedIn Profile in 10 steps

It’s almost a must to have a LinkedIn account in today’s business world. Even though you just apply for an internship, they’ll look you up online. Especially when you are applying abroad it is very important as recruiters from all over the world can get an impression of you. But how do you leave a perfect first impression with your profile? In this article we give you an instruction in 10 steps.

Consequences to the Brexit for the EU and the Erasmus program

Before we start let’s take a look at the facts: LinkedIn was created in the USA in 2003 and nowadays it has more than 500 million users from all over the globe. LinkedIn is the worldwide most used social media platform regarding career planning. Your profile functions as an expanded business card in the world wide web for your self-promotion.
But how should the perfect profile look like? What are recruiters looking for? Here a few advices on how to make your profile more attractive and present you in a better way:

1. Your profile picture

Your photo should be professional, of course. A selfie or a picture of your last beach vacation with a cocktail glass in hand is not appropriate for a business platform. Your head and your shoulders should be visible. Your profile picture should be in line with the industry: it’s not necessary for example for a web designer to be in suit and tie, while for an investment banker it’s indispensable. The best option is if you have a picture which shows you “in action”. This means: an IT specialist maybe in front of is Computer or a MBA student on stage giving a speech to his/her fellow students, etc.
The most important thing is that you appear friendly and inviting, but still professional.

2. Customise your URL

To be able to show your LinkedIn profile also in a nice way in your CV and to be easier to find for recruiters, you should customise your LinkedIn URL. It is a very easy process directly on your profile. That way you get rid of the annoying numbers behind your name, which the websites assigns you automatically. Also, it gives you the chance to create your personalized URL with your name and surname, which is easy to memorise.

3. Your headline

Your headline is the first thing that gets seen, when someone is looking you up on LinkedIn, because of that it is of enormous importance. Usually people just keep the automatically created headline, which includes your current position (e.g. Student at XXX University or Intern at XXX). A headline like that doesn’t draw any attention and you’ll get less views from recruiters. Take the time and think about your perfect headline. Include for example your degree, your skills and your career goals. The most important part is that you already enter key words in your headline, to make it easier for others to find you.

4. Your summary

Your LinkedIn summary is probably the most important part of your profile and nevertheless many users just leave it empty. But exactly in this section is your chance to stand out from the crowd and tell the things you want your future employer to know about you. Your summary should reflect your CV but should not be a pure repetition of it.

Ideally your summary should consist of 3 to 5 short paragraphs with a bullet point section in the middle.  The text should inform the reader about your key skills, your unique qualifications, your work passion and your previous experiences. Try to tell a story and be authentic by doing so. Use numbers to refer to your accomplishments (“During my time as a working student at XXX I increased sales by 30 % in comparison to previous years”).

But only about 300 words of your summary are displayed immediately, to see the rest one must click “read more”. To achieve that recruiters want to read your whole summary you should arouse interest at the very beginning of your text. Try to put already in the first sentence the most important information about your experiences and your talents.

And – of course – you should also in this section be aware of using key words connected to your career goals or your industry.

5. Name your skills

Don’t be thrifty! LinkedIn offers you the possibility to add 50 skills to your profile and this is what you should take advantage of. Try not to repeat yourself, for example by adding synonyms of the same skill. Put the most important skills for your current job hunt on top, so recruiters don’t have to scroll through and can find them immediately.

6. Improve your experiences 

Your experiences should not just be a list of your previous jobs and your tasks there. Use bullet points to describe your jobs. Try not to just list your tasks like get in touch with clients, post on social media etc., but use this section to highlight your achievements. Turn your tasks into achievements! Reflect on how your work had a value for the company.

LinkedIn also gives you the possibility to add (multimedia) files. There is an article or a presentation you did on your previous job you are very proud of? Then add it to your profile and show your future employer, what you made! That is the huge benefit of an online CV – take advantage of it!

But be careful: Your profile should not differ from your sent CV!

7. Change your privacy settings

Now that you improved your profile, it’s time to ensure that others can find you on LinkedIn. Check your privacy settings and change them if needed, so that recruiters and acquaintances are able to find and add you.

8. Get connections

Try to get as many connections as possible. If you have just a few, it seems like you don’t know anyone. 50 connections prove that your profile is real and you already gained working experience.

Look for connections and add former classmates, fellow students and co-workers. If you have been attending interesting trainings, talks or similar, take the time to connect with the people you met there. You never know how valuable this contact could be in the future.

Although the number of connections plays a certain importance, nevertheless you shouldn’t add strangers for no reason, because if too many people reject your connection-attempts your profile might get blocked.

9. Ask for recommendations and endorsements

As you already added numerous acquaintances it’s time to ask to write you a recommendation or an endorsement on your profile. This is mostly a mutual act, that way all involved parties get a profit out of it and make a better impression on recruiters.

Endorsements and recommendations are a great tool on LinkedIn in order to prove that you’re telling the truth about your skills and your work effort. It shows that other people tell the same about you like you told the recruiter in your application.

10. Be an active member

Don’t be that kind of person who just creates a LinkedIn profile and then never uses it again. To use LinkedIn correctly and get seen, you must be an active user! Try to post something once a week, whether it’s an interesting article you found or a blog you wrote yourself. Like, comment and share the content of others.

 Also, very recommended is being a member of different LinkedIn groups. This way you always stay up to date in your industry and you have the possibility to get connected with new people. On the other hand, your memberships show recruiters where your interests are. It’s also important to follow persons, who inspire you, and companies, who catch your interest, because this is also a good tool for others to get an impression of your characteristics.

Extra advice 

If you are multilingual your profile should reflect that. Especially when you are looking for internships abroad! A profile, which is completely in your non-English mother tongue has no use for a foreign recruiter.  So take the time to add your profile also in another language.

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Five advices for the first week at your internship

Five advices for the first week at your internship

Are you looking forward to the start of your internship abroad? Then, you shouldn’t miss my six advices on how to start smoothly into the first week of your internship. Starting an internship abroad means leaving your comfort zone and dealing with a new country, maybe a new language and new challenges. I started my internship at PIC Management two weeks ago and know exactly how insecure you feel! So, let me help you.

Starting an internship abroad means leaving your comfort zone and dealing with a new country

Check out how to get to the office

Being too late on your first day of work is inappropriate and creates a bad first impression. In order to arrive on time and without any stress, try your duty stroke out in advance. So, combine exploring your new home with finding the right way to work. Then you already know where to go and how long it takes.

Inform yourself about the dress code

The first impression is important! Inform yourself about the dress code of your company before you start working. If you are unsure after looking at their website, just ask. Being overdressed as well as underdressed is an embarrassing feeling at the first day. However, you should still wear something you feel comfortable with. It is your first day at the internship and of course you are nervous. Your clothes should give you some confidence. Don’t forget to smile because a positive appearance is priceless.

Ask question

In the beginning, you will get a lot of input, many information about the systems, way of work etc. Of course, you can’t remember everything so you shouldn’t hesitate to ask again. Don’t blame yourself for forgetting something, make notes and improve your performance day by day.

Give yourself some time

When you start your internship, your body and mind have to adapt to the new way of life! During your study life, you can decide when and where to study and don’t have to be in the office at 8 am every morning. You will need some time to get a routine and a scheduled day. See the advantages, when you go home after work, you are free and don’t have to think about homework, assignments or exams!

Stay positive

See every challenge as a chance to improve yourself and growth in your personal development. No one is perfect, so just try to become a better version of yourself and enjoy this unique experience abroad.

All the best for your time abroad and tell us how you have experienced your first week at your internship.

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Improve your leadership skills

Do you want to know how to be a good leader? Are you looking forward to enhancing your leadership skills? This article will outline some basic strategies that will help you in your private and work life …

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Improve your leadership skills

Improve your leadership skills

Do you want to know how to be a good leader? Are you looking forward to enhancing your leadership skills? This article will outline some basic strategies that will help you in your private and work life.

For those of you who are not aware what leadership exactly means, let us start with a definition: Leadership involves establishing a clear vision and sharing that vision with others so that they will follow willingly. It also involves providing information, knowledge and methods to realize that vision and coordinating and balancing the conflicting interests of all members and stakeholders (Business Dictionary, 2017). But there is more behind this simple definition. Here are some basic things that you can implement in your everyday life in order to improve your leadership skills.

Some basic things that you can implement in your everyday life in order to improve your leadership skills.

Admit failures and move on

Good leaders make mistakes and learn from them. Yes, even the most powerful and inspiring leaders in human history have made mistakes. And what do they do about it? They recognize the mistakes, admit them and take possible actions. So, please remind yourself- it is human to fail. Admit your mistakes, accept them and move on to new things!

Be a follower yourself

A leader cannot follow? That is not true. A good leader is a good follower as well. They ask other people for help when they need it. And even if somebody disagrees, they accept the feedback and listen to the other view point. What can you learn from this in your everyday life? It is important to keep an open mind and give merit where merit is due. It is never easy, but you will learn to value and respect other opinions.

Ask questions

Leadership skills also include criticism and a lot of curiosity. These two things can foresee potential problems. If you stop taking things for granted, you will also develop a more creative mindset. The reason that most people do not ask questions, is because they tend to make assumptions in order to complete the missing parts themselves. Please do not do this mistake! Asking questions will enable you to analyze the roots of situations or problems, explore greater understanding and eliminate confusion.

Take initiatives

Leader are not developed within the comfort zone. You need to step out of it. Do not wait for the perfect chance to come! Do not wait for people to assign you tasks. Try to recognize the needs and do what you have to do to satisfy them. The people around you will be positively surprised if you do more that is asked from you. One can say, that a great way to develop your leadership skills is to take on more responsibility. One thing is clear, you will learn from everything you do.

Listen actively

A leader is not always in the spotlight. An important characteristic of a good leader is to listen. You might have heard about the saying “Speaking is silver, silence is golden”. It is true, most people prefer speaking but without listening you cannot learn. It is also about identifying non-verbal cues such as eye contact and body language. It will help you to gain more in-depth information and build stronger relationships.

Motivate others

John Quincy Adams once said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”. First, one has to realize that no one is the best at everything. That is why you can empower others to do things. Even when your friends or coworkers lose their passions, you can energize, inspire and motivate them to do greater things.

Self leadership

Are you aware of yourself? Do you know your strength and weaknesses? No? Then, the first step is to become self-aware. You can take a few minutes to reflect on your personality traits. You can start by thinking about the worst leader you have met. Did this person hold back information or delegate too much? Whatever characteristic trait it is that you did not like, judge yourself on it on a scale from 1 – 10. You can do the same thing with good leaders you have met so far. This can help you to become more aware about yourself.

Discipline

It is not simple to be a good leader, it requires hard work as well. A good idea or vision is useless without discipline. People around you will judge your capacity by the amount of discipline you display. In order to be a good leader, you need to be self-disciplined. This will ensure that others around you will be as well. How can you increase your discipline? Try to implement good habits, such as waking up early and getting daily exercise.

We know most of these steps might not be easy, but try it! Leadership skills are necessary for your personal and professional development. These skills will help you to be more positive and inspiring.

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Benefits of working in a start-up

Benefits of working in a start-up

Many student internships are done in start-ups. Do you know why? Here are a few reasons why working in a start-up can be interesting for your future career!

Benefits of working in a start-up.

Responsibility

Monotonous tasks and routines are certainly not part of a start-up company. One has to be aware that being part of a young company means a lot of responsibility. Start-ups are developing and expanding their business and therefore every employee and intern has a variety of tasks to do. This increased responsibility will enable you to gain skills and direct experiences more quickly. Generally, the tasks are so more flexible as there is no strict routine to follow. Likewise, these companies have less people so everybody’s role is important.
Are you ready to do more than the usual internship tasks and explore different job roles?

Opportunity and Growth

Startups can be super successful or fail. Participating in the development of a new company can offer many growth chances. It is your opportunity to directly be in contact with business partners or clients. It is clear that working in a start-up creates the opportunity to build something innovative and meaningful that can have a lasting impact on society. The company atmosphere will push you to think creatively on how to approach projects and create value.
Are you looking forward to gaining hands-on experience?

Innovation and Passion

Working in a startup means working with entrepreneurs. Learning from the owners of the company means learning from true innovators. Learn from innovators how to get the most out of limited resources! Most entrepreneurs are extremely talented and passionate about the company’s mission. You will notice flat hierarchies and a great atmosphere with a work life balance. Being part of such a team will build a certain company culture, in which work does not feel like work.
Are you ready to embrace an environment of innovation and passion?

Recognition

Everything you are doing will have a direct influence on the success of the company. In a small team, assignments of each one are meaningful and will be noticed. Working in a large corporation, important tasks might go unnoticed.
Who is not willing to have tasks and assignments that are recognized?

To be honest, working in a startup is definitely not something for everyone. The interesting and challenging environment brings changing conditions and dynamic experiences. It is related to high risks and according to the Wall Street Journal 3 out 4 for start-ups fail. However, the biggest advantage is that it helps you to grow much faster than in a large corporation.

We are looking forward to hearing about your experiences!

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Benefits of a Food and Beverage internship

Benefits of a Food and Beverage internship

Are you associating a food and beverage internship with cleaning dishes all day? Wrong! This article will outline the main benefits of food and beverage internships. All food and beverage internships we offer are part of the hospitality business and most of them take place in hotels or resorts. This industry has rapidly grown in recent years. It has been concluded that approximately 25% of visitor spending is attributed to food and beverage while they are traveling (R. Ryanson, 2016). A practical experience in this area will provide you with many insights about the field.

This article will outline the main benefits of food and beverage internships.

First, let us consider the regular activities that Food and Beverage interns follow. Internships include planning, coordinating, arranging and developing food and beverage services while meeting customer expectations and food and hygiene standards. Besides that, interns present menus, take orders, serve and deserve dishes and of course optimizing the supply chain by checking beverage stocks etc. Not obvious, but part of the internship is also to organize and motivate the team you are working with. Second, let us clarify the advantages that this kind of internship would bring.

1. Increased awareness about tourism

Every day comes with new guests and new challenges. Interns will directly interact with customers, as they are also responsible for welcoming guests and ensuring their satisfaction. It is important to actively listen in order to detect the customer needs. Generally, people working in the tourism industry learn to be more sensitive as they need to maintain good relationships. Besides that, meeting new people is the perfect possibility to enhance soft skills and learn how to effectively communicate across cultures.

2. Increased knowledge about food and beverage resources

Working in the food and beverage field will make one understand all steps of the supply chain that a hotel has. One will experience which resources are needed to produce certain dishes or drinks. It will open your eyes about all hidden processes.

3. Ability to create unique selling point

Every food and beverage intern will experience the feeling of satisfaction from making other people happy. The industry has the power to create its own unique selling point that means that interns are sometimes able to put an individual touch to the dishes or drinks. All in all, they are highly responsible for the success or failure of the cuisine.

4. No Limit of knowledge

There are so many different cuisines and cultural dishes and myriads of methods and ways to prepare and present food and beverages. Besides that, interacting with customers will help you to enhance your language skills.

5. Enjoy Food delicacies and drink varieties

Working in the food and beverage industry will also enable you to receive food and drinks for free or for a reduced priced.

All advantages have some disadvantages. We understand that the food and beverage industry can also be stressful, especially because the job is solely based on working with people. Let us know about your opinion! We are happy to adjust our blog entry with your suggestions and experiences.

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How to learn a foreign language ?

How to learn a foreign language ?

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world” said British philosopher, mathematician and linguist Ludwig Wittgenstain. When it comes to learning new languages have you ever considered this as overcoming some sort of limit in your life? Have you ever thought about starting to learn a completely new language and become bilingual, trilingual or maybe even a polyglot? If you have doubts that it may be too late for you or if you think that people who can speak foreign languages are simply talented you must know, that it is scientifically proven that the human brain is capable of learning new languages no matter what age you are. It doesn’t matter if it’s a child, student or retired person.

Methods to learn a new language.

A few interesting facts which can be useful before you will start?

The most widely spoken Romance languages are Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and Romanian. As an example, for someone who can speak Spanish it will be easier, almost effortless, to learn a new language from this group, i.e. Portuguese or Italian. The same principle could be applied to the Slavic group of languages which are: Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, and the South Slavic languages. In this case if you can speak i.e. Russian, learning Croatian, Bulgarian, Czech or any other language from the Slavic family should not be a problem for you. Furthermore, the knowledge of the Arabic language is making the whole process of learning new languages easier. If we can master the Arabic language we will acquire a big amount of the vocabulary, which will help while learning any other language. In light of the above, the question arises whether in case of the knowledge of many languages, let’s pretend 10, if we are really able to speak fluently in each one of them? The answer is, yes, we can be fluent in a few languages at the same time if we have the chance to use all of them in our daily life or at least very often. This can be i.e. at work, during our internship abroad, while traveling etc.

Can we learn a new foreign language alone?

The answer is… Yes, of course we can! Hereby, when learning a new language by our own, it is more important how much time we invest to learn the language, rather than the organisation of this time. Studying a language for 1 hour by ourselves means utilizing the most efficient way to grasp the language, as during this time we are learning in the most active and focused way possible.
When attending a language course or class with a group, we are easily distracted or interrupted by many things and the teacher is not able to perpetually pay the attention only to us. Briefly, this time which is supposed to be spent for acquiring a new language is not as effective as it would be while learning by our own. On the other hand, studying as a group has many positive aspects. While working with other students, we have the chance to engage more stimulus and emotions which also makes learning easier. The conclusion is clear. The best results will be reached by combining these two methods of studying. Of course, it is worth to attend a language course together with other students, but it is also very important to work independently, search for the materials that inspire us to study and to enhance our knowledge and skills.

Do we need to have a great gift for languages?

Some people assume that in order to learn foreign languages we must be talented or that having an excellent musical hearing as well is necessary, because languages and music have a lot in common. It is proved that in pursuance of learning at least one foreign language we don’t need any special talents. Each of us learnt our mother tongue, which shows that we already own all the necessary skills. All we need to remember, while learning a new language, is to properly use our potential which we already have and to find our own way to acquire lots of new grammar rules and vocabulary.

Three basic tricks which will help you to learn a new language faster.

  1. Learn the language in a passive as well as active way.
    Active language learning means that we are learning the grammar rules and practicing the pronunciation as well. The passive way of learning a language is nothing more than watching movies with subtitles and listening to the music in a foreign language while doing some other activities like eating breakfast or having morning coffee etc.
  2. Organise yourself so as to ensure that you are constantly in touch with the language which you want to learn.
    While you are busy in your daily life it will be worth the effort if you will try to surround yourself with the foreign language in every possible way i.e. listen to the podcasts, music, audiobooks, read the books in this language while traveling by public transportation, and at work at the university read the cards with the words of the day.
  3. Learn the language wherever and whenever you can.
    “Thanks to modern technology you don’t have to be spending hours in the book, you can get an application and then with its help you can learn a new language, so even if it’s something for 10-15 minutes a day or in the morning and then later in the evening” Matthew Youlden – one of the most recognisable polyglots in the world.

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