5 Ways to Update Your LinkedIn Before You Graduate

As an upcoming graduate, you might be freaking out about stepping into the real world. Questions like "Am I prepared to graduate? Will I be able to find a job? Where will I live?" are likely running through your mind.

These are all reasonable questions. Navigating the professional world may seem scary if you have never done it before, but with these LinkedIn tips you can make your profile stand out and be more prepared to enter the working world!

1. Upload a professional headshot

This may go without saying, but a professional headshot makes you that much more likely to land that dream job. You do not need to get a professional to take it, but you should use a quality camera, pick a simple background avoiding anything that could take away from you, and dress appropriately. If you keep these tips in mind, you will have the perfect LinkedIn picture in no time!

2. Update your headline

Remember the old saying “your first impression is the last impression.” Now remember that when you are writing your headline. Now that you are about to graduate, what was once important to you is not anymore. To have an impactful headline you need to make sure it communicates what you believe is most important to you. If you make your headline short and memorable employers are more likely to view your profile further. And remember, you only get one shot at a first impression, so make your headline punchy and professional.

3. Include details of education and experience

These sections may seem the most obvious, but they are also the most important. It is important to include complete details of both your education and experience. For education, this could include your achievements such as GPA, awards, or scholarships. A good rule of thumb is to only list your GPA if it is 3.5 or above. In addition, including relevant coursework will let employers know specifics about your education. You will also want to list specifics about your experience, including job responsibilities and relevant skills. Not only does this show employers what you are capable of, but it increases your chance of being found in the search results. Your experience is what gets you hired, so make sure to fill out this section completely!

4. Build your network

Connecting with professionals on LinkedIn is one of the best ways to get your name out there. Start with people you know like your employers, peers, and professors, then expand your network by joining groups. Groups are a great place to find people who are interested in the same topics you are. Whatever way you decide to build your network, keep in mind that LinkedIn is different from regular social media. So, don’t be afraid to connect with people you don’t know. You never know where it may lead you!

5. Get recommendations

Recommendations are a great way to show perspective employers that you live up to what you say you are. If you say you are a “hard worker” and pay close “attention to detail,” the best way to prove this is by getting a recommendation. You should seek recommendations from peers, professors, and employers. If you have made a great impression on anyone, don’t hesitate to ask for a recommendation. Keep in mind, if you give a recommendation to someone, they are more likely to return the favor.

Navigating the professional world doesn’t have to be scary. If you follow these simple steps, you will be that much closer to landing your dream job! Remember, Collegiettes, you have worked hard these past four years, so don’t be afraid to show off how hard you worked to get to graduation day!