3 Ways to Amp Up Your LinkedIn Profile

April is here, and for a lot of students, that means one thing: job hunting. Whether you’re a graduating senior, aspiring intern, or just looking to expand your professional network, there’s no denying that LinkedIn is where it’s at. Your LinkedIn profile is a living, breathing, digital resume that tells the world what you’re all about and how you show up. If you’re staring down the job hunt and don’t really know how to start networking online, here are three ways to amp up your LinkedIn profile and prep for all of those potential-employer stalking sessions.

1. Write a REAL professional summary.

Your professional statement or summary is what tells the world what you’re all about – your values, your professional goals, what you’re looking for in an employer – and often serves as their first impression of you. When you’re writing your professional summary, include everything you want a future employer or connection to know about you.

I like to think of a professional summary as my perfect elevator pitch about myself: it includes all of the important details, gives the reader a sense of my personality, and most of all, it invokes some sort of interest that makes the person viewing your profile want to continue to read.

2. Really write about your work experience

Often, we oversimplify and reduce our work experience to fit a one-page resume and end up leaving out some of the important details of what a job actually entailed. Fortunately, LinkedIn doesn’t have that limit on space (thank you, internet!).

Take advantage of that space and actually write about what you did in each job, internship, volunteer position or leadership role. You can always revise and clean up the language later, but take the time to actually consider the most important skills and responsibilities you took away from each experience and include them online. Don’t sell yourself short by excluding that valuable information.

3. Start connecting with (almost) everyone

LinkedIn is a weird platform because it’s not uncommon to connect with quite literally everyone you meet in a professional setting. If you’re doing that and it works for you, sweet! Keep doing your thing. If that doesn’t work for you, there are other ways to strategically connect with people.

Start by connecting with peers and/or coworkers. These people know you and are most likely down to connect with you because it’s just another social media platform for you all to utilize. Next, start connecting with supervisors, professors, and professional mentors. This group understands the need to build a network early in your career and is likely willing to help you connect with other industry pros.

Finally, if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, start connecting with people in the field you want to work in or that have your dream job. Find that common ground connection between the two of you and send them a message and invitation to connect. Whether you’re bonding over where you went to college or you straight-up ask them to meet for coffee to talk about career goals, it's important to get a conversation started. Most of all, don’t be afraid of rejection. The best part about LinkedIn is that it’s still just another social media platform and doesn’t have to be intimidating. The right people will respond and connect with you and be willing to build a lasting professional relationship.

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Building your presence on LinkedIn doesn’t have to be time- or labor-intensive. Taking the time to strategically create your page pays off big time in the long run, and you’ll feel more comfortable giving out your profile to new professional connections because of it. Look to the professional future with (slightly) less fear, and happy job hunting!

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