Summer’s almost here, so for many of you, that means internship season is on—and the rush is particularly intense on LinkedIn. Perhaps you’ve seen at least one of your connections add “seeking opportunities” to their headline and checked out a few listings on your recommended page yourself. So if you’re looking for a quick refresher before officially diving in, or your search isn’t quite going as expected, see if you missed any of these tips to make your profile glow.
- Get the All-Star badge
If you haven’t noticed, LinkedIn assigns your profile a rank. Depending on how much of it you’ve completed, your profile can be of Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert or All-Star status, with the last one awarded when you’ve filled in all recommended sections. According to LinkedIn, an All-Star user is 40 times more likely to receive opportunities as they are favoured by the algorithm. So if you’ve been procrastinating writing that summary, there’s your motivation. It doesn’t have to be a daunting task—if your life’s a movie, treat the summary like a teaser, plus you can always come back to edit it after getting the perks.
- Add a background photo
This otherwise blank space could be a great opportunity to showcase a little more of you. Popular options include a photo of your university, hometown/current/dream city or favourite quote. But if you prefer, feel free to put something purely decorative as well—virtually anything will cut as more attention-grabbing than the default LinkedIn banner. And you can take the visual appeal up a notch by matching the background’s colour scheme with that of your profile photo.
- Create a custom URL
When you first signed up for an account, LinkedIn gave you a URL that likely consists of your display name followed by a string of numbers. That can’t be sleek or convenient to paste onto your resume. Luckily you can find the option to personalize your URL on the right-hand side of your profile page on a browser. Professionals recommend using your full name, but if you have a more common one, try getting creative with initials or adding your degree abbreviations such as BSc or MBA.
- Turn on public visibility
While the setting is defaulted to on, if you’ve turned off your profile’s public visibility at some point before, you might want to consider switching it back as you continue your search. This way, more potential employers could discover you and see all the work you do. Besides, even with public visibility on, you’ll still be able to have some control over which certain sections are on display and whether it’s to your connections or all users on the internet. The setting for this is under the same place you customized your URL.
- Enable “open to work”
This is a feature that allows you to let others see that you’re on the lookout. You can set it to either recruiters only or all of LinkedIn. The former will give access to only users with recruiter plans outside of your listed company (although LinkedIn cannot guarantee complete privacy), while with the latter the platform will also add an eye-catching green #OpenToWork frame to your profile photo. You can enable this through the intro section on a browser. While changing your headline to “seeking summer 2021 internships” also does the job, this is an efficient way to save that space for your more marketable titles.
- Take skill quizzes
LinkedIn assessments are a fast and free way to back up the technical skills you’re trying to flaunt, assuming they’re covered. Some of the most popular quizzes, all with over a million attempts taken, are on the Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Photoshop and programming languages such as HTML, Java and Python. Recruiters won’t be able to see your actual score; once you pass the assessment, there will be the option to display a shiny awarded badge on your profile.
- Utilize the premium free trial
The price of LinkedIn Premium can be hefty for many students. But don’t forget you have a one-month free trial to leverage! And there probably isn’t a more worthy occasion than when you’re trying to seal an important internship, especially for first-timers. The trial for a personal plan will grant you access to advanced targeted searching, recent profile views in private mode, company and applicant insights, LinkedIn Learning and interview preparation content, plus a number of InMail messages to users outside of your network—marketed as almost three times more effective than a traditional email—that the platform says won’t expire until after 90 days. Just remember to cancel in time if you don’t wish to continue afterwards.
- Use Ryerson resources
Did you know that the Ryerson Career & Co-op Centre offers one-on-one appointments for LinkedIn profile advising that can be followed by a photo session? On top of that, they also have a D2L course shell and Google Drive full of workshop archives on LinkedIn and other related topics. When students are paying so much money for tuition, it’s great to see the school in return has our back in our professional, post-grad ventures as well. With their resources and so many more out there waiting to be found, I know you can secure that bag, so good luck girlboss!