Land a Job With LinkedIn!

With summer vacation coming up, many of us are trying to land a summer job. How about getting some help from LinkedIn?

LinkedIn, is a great way to discover summer jobs, and market yourself to future employers in a professional manner online. Here’s how to make your LinkedIn profile perfect, and how you can stand out.

What is LinkedIn?

First of all, I am sure some of you collegiettes are wondering what LinkedIn is. Essentially, LinkedIn is a professional version of Facebook. Instead of having “friends,” you have “connections.”

When you first create your profile, you fill out information about yourself that you would find on a resume – things like your job history, skills, education, awards, and volunteer work. Once it’s complete, your profile basically looks like an online resume. As you get connections, they can endorse you for your skills and write recommendations about you that will be displayed on your profile.

Building Your Profile

When you sign up for LinkedIn, you’re prompted to start building your profile right away. It’s important that your profile is free of spelling and grammar errors, as future employers could be viewing your profile.

You also want to make sure that your display picture is professional. You should not have a distracting background in your profile picture. Try to take the picture in front of a plain background, such as a white wall. Also, try to make sure that your face is easily visible (no group shots!). A good rule I like to follow is to take the picture from the shoulders up, like a headshot.

When filling out your work experience on your profile, make sure you provide details. Don’t just have things like “Paper Carrier. July 2003-August 2005.” Take the time to write out the details of the tasks you completed while you were there.

For example, I am currently a cashier at my current job. On my LinkedIn profile, one of the tasks that I have written is, “Assists in other areas of store, such as cleanup, shelf-stocking, or keeping merchandise displayed in an orderly manner.”

Establishing Connections

Some of us cringe at the thought of adding our boss or coworkers on Facebook, but with LinkedIn, it’s encouraged! LinkedIn is the perfect way to stay connected with those from your work life.

What’s great is, even if you haven’t seen them in years from a previous job, Linkedin can re-connect you in a professional way. They can endorse you for skills, write a recommendation, or you can keep in touch through the inbox messaging system.

Keeping it Personal, Yet Professional

Although many of us think of LinkedIn as a professional site, don’t be afraid to add extra elements to your profile that make it personal. Do you write a blog? There’s space on your profile to link the URL. Do you love to read? Why not add your reading list! Do you speak another language? Fill out the languages section!

You can also add interests and personal causes too, which is a perfect way to show people what you’re passionate about! When you add those special touches to your profile, employers feel like they are getting to know you a bit better as a person.

Tips and Tricks

Make sure your profile is one-hundred-percent complete. Remember that a potential employer could be viewing your profile, and that an uncompleted profile could give off the impression that you’re lazy and unprepared. We take the time to look our best for job interviews, so a LinkedIn profile should be treated the same way.

Try to use the recommendation and endorsement features with your connections: don’t be shy to ask a co-worker or boss to post a recommendation on your profile. Recommendations make you appear more credible! Often times, when people get a new connection, both of you will go through each other’s skills and endorse the ones each of you showed when working together. Remember that if a connection takes the time to endorse your skills, you should do the same for them.

To make your profile easier on the eyes, make sure the accomplishments in the descriptions of your jobs are in bullet points. It’s easy to read and it looks professional.

One last thing: if you’re interested in working for a company in the future, make sure you follow them! You will be notified of when positions open up, but you can also “like” and comment on their posts. It shows that you’re engaged and genuinely interested in the company!