By: Terri Brown
The world of LinkedIn! This social media platform used to literally scare me. I was afraid. Yes. AFRAID. I know I’m not the only one where something new can make us nervous or anxious. It’s filled with professionals and often thought of as a means for recruiters to find top talent. The platform is all that, and beyond. But we as students shouldn’t be afraid.
YES! LINKEDIN. Don’t freak out. It’s not just for seasoned professionals, I promise. LinkedIn doesn’t have to be as intimidating as we make it seem, it can even be fun. It is a great platform for college students, as it allows you to display your resume and even allows you to show off just how creative you are. If done well, your Linked In profile could do all the work for you. Let’s jump into the basics.
College Student? You Need To Be On Linked In
But WHY? Because when you graduate you want to get that big job! If you want recruiters to find you, LinkedIn is the place to be. Otherwise, it’s like, do you even exist? Your interviewer will google you (I’m serious). You want your LinkedIn profile to show up, not that crazed spring break trip from 2017.
Linked In Is Not Your Resume
Don’t just go copying & pasting. It’s tempting. “iT hAs tHe SaMe FiElDs,” I know. But people will actually read these. That’s not to say that your resume is not important, because it is. Upload it to your profile. It is even still a good idea to bring copies with you to interviews (Yes, people still do this, even in our digital world).
Let’s just say that your profile is your resume with a personality. Make it interesting & fun. Go into details, add the fluff, & give the backstory. There’s valuable real estate for it on LinkedIn that may not have been available on your resume, and the best part about it is that it doesn’t have to be so formal. Use your voice and own your story.
You Worked Hard, Show It Off
I know you worked hard. Make sure to upload any presentations or papers that you are particularly obsessed with. Be sure that they show your best work. You can use that content to show recruiters the value that you can bring to their company. Think of it as your own digital portfolio.
I’ve composed a list of best practices to make your Linked In profile stand out. Be sure to keep these in mind when crafting your profile:
➔ DO use a professional image- please upload an appropriate photo (one your grandma can see), & don’t forget to smile 🙂
➔ DON’T skimp on your summary- You have tons of space, put it to good use and show us your personality.
➔ DON’T forget a header – The blue background with all the networks is not cute. Go for something that gives us more insight into who you are or what you stand for.
➔ DO make connections- Having little to no connections makes you look either really creepy or makes people think you have little to no experience. Reach out to people! (Remember to always customize your request)
➔ DO post something- It doesn’t have to be much, share your favorite blog (It could be this one), or re-post interesting news articles. You don’t want your profile to be blank.
➔ DO fill out additional sections on your profile- Especially if you don’t have a ton of work experience.
Whew! That was a lot of information. Don’t get overwhelmed, you’ve got this! Take these skills to stride, and make your profile POP.