When I was younger, I used to joke that LinkedIn was Facebook for old people. Well now the tables have turned and I'm on LinkedIn. Not only that, but I’ve sort of fallen in love with it, and of course, it's not for old people. Going through college, the name of the website cropped up and now again in class conversation, but the use and value of LinkedIn were sadly never taught.
One night during my sophomore year, I was feeling super unwell and I couldn’t sleep. With my roommate peacefully sleeping on the other side of the room, I browsed my phone trying to occupy my mind in the dead of the night. That was when I saw an email notification about an old friend asking to connect on the bare LinkedIn account I had opened and left. I spent the next hour or so creating my profile until the early hours of the morning. From that night onwards, I started using it as a social network to promote myself and connect with others both old and new.
Thanks to that random connection request, I was led on a journey I couldn’t have expected. Not long after I revived my account, I was offered to write a book by a Georgetown professor, which has now been published, and I was offered an internship at a local company during the beginning of the pandemic. It allows me to browse for internships and jobs as well as to connect with others whose work I am interested in. What I think a lot of college students don’t recognise is the potential of opportunity that LinkedIn provides. So, I want to share some of my favourite features of the site and tips.
1) Create a Good Looking Profile
In your profile, you want to highlight all the things you have accomplished over the years. This is a place where you can brag about all your hard work and have others leave comments to support you. Be clear and concise using adverbs so viewers can easily understand what tasks you are doing. You can list awards, volunteering, and classes you have taken.
2) Have a Professional-Looking Photo
First impressions are a must. You want your page to look professional and be easy to comprehend who you are as a person. You are sharing your brand and skills with whoever looks at your page. I suggest wearing a nice top against a good background and to avoid using a blurry selfie. You can also customise your heading photo to add more personality.
[bf_image id="q8ngxg-4sms94-fs1zmo"] 3) Connect, Connect, Connect
Don’t hesitate to connect with those you don’t know along with those you do know from your university or high school. I also like to connect with others who have the same interests or are in the same profession I want to be in. For connection requests you receive, I suggest checking their profiles to see if they are bots or not; if they are bots, they won’t add any value to you.
4) LinkedIn Learning
Did you know our university offers free LinkedIn Learning that has thousands of courses available? You can learn anything from how to be prepared for an interview to how to write a press release.
5) Be Active!
Share your thoughts by writing posts. Promote your work. Comment on other’s posts and interact. LinkedIn has many feeds and people you can follow to learn and engage with. What I love about it is the active community that is often looking to help and guide one another. They also advertise webinars that you can join often free of charge.
Hopefully, this has encouraged you to open your laptop and start building your LinkedIn page if you don’t yet have one. LinkedIn has so many options to help users grow and interact one with one another, yet it is rarely taught or spoken about in class. As the world becomes more digitalized, you have the opportunity to share a digitalized resume with anyone! Of course, I couldn’t end this article without saying connect with me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/rosie-baker/ or reach out if you have any questions about it!