Think of LinkedIn as your professional Facebook account. It is a great way to make connections, research companies, and find job openings.
After creating your account at www.linkedin.com, follow these 10 tips to set up and maximize your online presence!
- Add a professional-looking photo of only yourself (NO SELFIES). Profiles with photos are 14 times more likely to be found in searches.
- Stand out with a headline that describes how you want to be known on LinkedIn. Use your area of study and/or your career ambitions. Check out profiles of people who hold the job you’d like to get and see which keywords they use.
- Choose the industry in which you intend to enter. If seeking a specific location for work, choose that location for your profile. This way, you will appear in searches for that area.
- Write a brief summary describing your professional background and aspirations. Describe your skills and abilities in short bursts of keyword-rich text. Use bullets to separate the information.
- List all the work experience you’ve had, along with brief descriptions of each role. List all the schools and colleges you’ve attended. LinkedIn helps you connect with former colleagues and networking contacts who may be able to help you find a job opportunity.
- Add at least five skills to your profile. Check out profiles of people in the field you plan to work and use the key words they use, but only if they are true to you!
- Ask for recommendations and endorsements from colleagues, clients, managers, professors, and classmates, not family and friends!
- Customize your URL to include something recongnizable, like a name or shortened version of your name. Put the URL on your website, resume, email signature, and business cards to drive traffic to your LinkedIn profile.
- Make sure your profile is error free. Don’t include photos, comments, or information you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see!
- Don’t just establish a LinkedIn presence; stay connected. Reach out. Interact. You will get out what you put in. Update your status about major projects you’ve completed, professional books/articles you’re reading, and professional successes you’ve had.
The following targeted career fairs will be held on the following dates from 10am to 1:30pm in the Student Union Atrium:
- March 2 – Health Professions
- April 11 – Computer Science Information Technology/Business
[Carrie Harris is a career counselor in Parkland’s Career Center.]