In 2003, LinkedIn launched its social media site that was geared towards professional profiles. LinkedIn is like the Facebook for the business world. It is the world’s largest professional social network and has 300 million plus users registered on the site. Creating a LinkedIn profile helps you construct your professional persona online while staying in touch with professional references you have come across in your career. Having a LinkedIn profile can benefit a student in college because it keeps you in touch with potential employers you’ve met at career conferences or on campus while they were recruiting. You can also follow businesses you are interested in and keep tabs on when they are hiring for positions you may be interested in applying for. While completing your profile, there are a few tricks and tips to make your account top notch and attractive enough for employers to take the time to look through your profile.
- Have a consistent and up to date profile. Once in a while update your profile to add any additional skills you may have acquired, any new jobs you have started, or any jobs you discontinued. When you attach your resume in the Summary section, always update that along with the rest of your profile. By clearing the cobwebs in your portfolio, the connections that follow you will know what you’ve been doing within your career and organizations recently.
- Get endorsed! Endorse others and they will endorse you back. Endorsing means that someone is giving your skills credibility. When you have professional references endorsing you, employers will see that others believe and know your talents, making you seem more desirable to a business.
- Professional names and profile pictures. Use your full name when creating your profile. Do not use nicknames, fraternal names, or abbreviations. Also, use a clean, professional picture of yourself. Try taking a picture of yourself in your best business attire. Do not use pictures where there are other people in the photo with you. This can confuse employers when they are trying to put your name to your specific face.
- Volunteer experience. Whenever you volunteer or are a part of a community project, put it on your affiliations section! 42% of hiring managers that were surveyed said that they view volunteer experience as equivalent to work experience.
- Display your projects! If you did an article, project, took pictures at an expo you helped host and put together, then add them to your profile! This is a more interactive way to get employers to notice your achievements.
- DO NOT connect other social media with your LinkedIn. Your other social media networks could update anything you post on them to also post on your LinkedIn. It is safer to keep your professional and personal social networks separate.
Lastly, always be professional. Your LinkedIn profile is connected to important people that can give your future careers for businesses you may be interested in. You profile is like a public interview and serves as a more in-depth resume.