A LinkedIn profile is a great way to advertise your greatest commodity: you! Your LinkedIn profile will be the first result when employers Google your name, will help you to stay connected to other professionals and abreast of your industry, and will allow you to be found by recruiters who are looking to fill positions. Here are some tips to make the most of your profile.
1. Create an account.
Open a free account with LinkedIn. Think of your name as your brand, so use middle initials or middle names to help common names stand out. Use maiden names as well as married names when appropriate. Upload a friendly, professional picture. Employers lean towards profiles that show an approachable potential hire.
2. Upload your resume.
After your resume has been critiqued at the Career Center and is presentable, upload your resume to your LinkedIn account. Be sure to edit any formatting issues that may have occurred. Bullet points may need to be copied and pasted in.
3. Write a headline.
A headline is used to grab attention and pull a reader in. Use the headline feature in LinkedIn to draw others to read your full profile. List your area of study and communicate your career ambitions. Using a tagline or letting others know that you are open to opportunities can be helpful.
4. Link to your Twitter account / use status updates.
If you are tweeting in a professional manner, link this to your LinkedIn account. It allows you to post from your LinkedIn account to both accounts at the same time, as well as shows others that you are active in social media.
If you are not tweeting, use the LinkedIn status updates to keep your connections aware of the work you are doing in classes or internships. Post articles that you find of interest. Let others know if you are job seeking, and what/where you are looking!
5. Edit the URL.
LinkedIn automatically gives you a URL made of random letters and numbers. Edit this URL to reflect your full name used on your profile. This URL allows your account to be found more easily in web searches, as well as for you to use on your resume or in email signatures.
6. Write a summary.
Express your personal brand by describing your accomplishments as well as your ambitions. Highlight your strengths and the experiences using keywords that are relevant to your industry.
7. List specialties.
Specialties should include keywords and synonyms that reflect your skills and are relevant to your industry. Phrases, acronyms, abbreviations, and certifications can all be used. Consider all of the many keywords that an employer may search for someone with your skills and experience.
8. Use applications.
LinkedIn provides many other options to bolster your profile such as organizations, volunteer experience & causes, projects, certifications, languages, publications, honors & awards, test scores, course, patents, skills & expertise. Use as many of these as are relevant; they provide recruiters with a lot more “hireable” information than a standard resume!
9. Education history.
List study abroad experiences, club activities, and extracurriculars here.
10. List interests.
Interests can become talking points when networking and provide others with further insight to who you are.
11. Join Groups.
LinkedIn Groups provide fantastic forums for learning more about an industry or field, and for meeting and connecting with others.