Rock Your LinkedIn Profile

Posted -

LinkedIn does not relate to my career goals. I want to go to medical school, so why should I make one?

I’m only a freshman. What’s the point? I don’t need to worry about my career right now.

These may be some of the thoughts running through your head whenever someone suggests you make a LinkedIn profile. It’s scary, isn’t it? Along with the bevy of social media sites we already have to keep up with, it is challenging to add another account that is professionally oriented.

But think about the impact of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram in your daily life: you use it to not only upload photos and videos, but also tell others about your accomplishments, goals, dreams and hopefully tailor it to depict yourself positively.

LinkedIn is just another way for you to do that, but even more so. Think of it as a Facebook for the professional world. You can make contact with people who can help you go places in the future. As much as hard work, grades and your resume play a factor into carving out your career path, networking and hidden job connections now make up to 70% of getting a job.

Both employers and graduate schools use LinkedIn as a resource to see how credible your information is. LinkedIn helps legitimize your accomplishments beyond the paper resume and can help you soar to greater heights!

But where should we start?

Let’s look below to an example profile that the Wake Forest Office of Personal and Career Development created to get a good sense of what a solid LinkedIn profile looks like.

First off, let’s make sure to write an informative headline. Your headline should be concise, creative and professional. Instead of writing the standard, “Student at Wake Forest University,” or “Wake Forest University sophomore,” let’s follow Anita Job’s example and use unique adjectives to describe us. Are you innovative like Anita? Or are you creative? Are you entrepreneurial or environmentally-friendly? We all are unique and never be afraid to let the best parts of you shine through!

Next, make sure to include a professional photo. You want to make sure you are wearing professional attire. The Wake Forest OPCD has a LinkedIn Photo Booth where you can get your photo taken for free! Make sure to call them if you need a photo.

Develop a professional summary. Here, Anita mentions her major as well as her specialties and concentrations. Then, she concisely summarizes what about her activities that correlates well with what she wants to do. She also mentions her internship and work experience in her second paragraph. This can help employers understand goals for the future.

Transfer your resume. Hopefully, you already have a paper resume that includes your experience, leadership and volunteer activities. Be sure to include these on your LinkedIn profile as well. It is also important to use action verbs at the beginning of each bullet. A list of these verbs can be found on the OPCD’s website: http://career.opcd.wfu.edu/files/2011/04/Action-Verbs-for-Resumes.pdf.

LinkedIn is also a place where you can show off any publications or projects you worked on. I have seen friends who are costume and poster designers display photographs of their work on LinkedIn. You can also display honors, awards, interests or courses you have taken. LinkedIn is the chance for you to expand on all you have accomplished, so take advantage of it! 

Connect with people! You never know who might help you in the working world in the future so make sure to connect with everyone you can whether it is professors, friends, faculty or alumni.

Join interest groups. Do you want to work in Public Relations? Join Public Relations societies or Wake Forest alumni working in PR! Want to live in New York City? Join a WFU alumni living in NYC group. The world is your oyster and so is LinkedIn. All Wake Forest students should also join Wake Forest University Career Connectors.

Tweak and tweak again. Visit the OPCD to get your LinkedIn profile reviewed to fine-tune it! Remember you can also get cover letters and resumes reviewed here as well every day from 1-4 on Mondays through Thursdays.

All of us at Wake Forest have so much to offer - don’t be afraid to show it off. This is the chance for you to brag about all that you have accomplished. My friends at the OPCD and I believe in you!

*Article by Isabella Basco