In this day and age, everyone has some sort of online presence. We all have social media sites where we connect with friends, family, and classmates to expand our personal network. But, what about expanding our professional networks? That’s where LinkedIn comes in. Whether you are just beginning with your journey through college or nearing the end, LinkedIn is very useful tool to connect with professionals and build your professional network. Below are five helpful hints and tips to get you started with your LinkedIn profile.
1. Display an appropriate photo
LinkedIn is a professional networking site. All content should be kept professional. A photo of you alone, dressed appropriately and professionally, and looking your best is the way to go. C’mon people, this isn’t Facebook!
**Your profile is 7x more likely to be viewed when a photo is included.
2. Create a killer headline
Aside from your name and picture, your headline is the first thing people will see. It can be written a few different ways and include different information, depending on what you want recruiters/employers to first know about you. Your college major, the career field you are interested in, and when you are graduating are all appropriate options to include in your headline. As you move forward in your college career be sure to keep updating your headline to reflect your current career interests and goals. So, what are you going to include in your headline to make yourself stand out and get employers interested in you?
3. Include a professional summary statement
Your summary statement is your opportunity to talk about your career qualifications, goals, and interests. Your goal is to portray self-confidence and excitement about your field of interest. Feel free to include relevant experiences and involvement.
4. Highlight your education
We are all investing lots of time and energy into our pursuit of higher education, so why not show it off? Include major(s), minor(s), certificate(s), and study abroad programs. Be sure to include any activities and organizations you are involved with on campus. This is also the place to list any awards and honors. If you’re proud of it, why not show it off!
**The default order on LinkedIn is for education to appear last. If you would like to highlight your education more (or move any other section on your page), click edit profile then click the double arrow in the upper right hand corner of the section. Drag and drop the section wherever you would like it to appear.
5. Show off your skills
Use past and current experiences to highlight the skills you think would be most beneficial for employers to know you possess. Like a resume, you will list the experience with the start and end dates, but unlike a resume, you are not pressed for space. You can use your LinkedIn profile to elaborate on projects within your experiences. There is also flexibility in how you describe each position. Bullet points certainly do the job, but don’t have as much importance on LinkedIn as they do on your resume.
By Leah Baas, Student Blogger
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