There’s a good chance you already have a LinkedIn profile, but are you getting the most from it? LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, with more than 347 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
If you’re not actively using the site to boost your professional presence, build a network and start looking for jobs, you’re missing out an incredible opportunity to get ahead. The site offers countless resources for students, to help you make a name for yourself while still in school. Use the 10 tips below to make your profile stand out from the crowd.
1. Choose an Appropriate Profile Photo: LinkedIn isn’t Facebook, so don’t upload a profile picture you wouldn’t want your (future) boss to see. Opt for a headshot of you alone, dressed in a professional manner. No party, vacation or group pictures belong on this site.
2. Write a Catchy Headline: Your headline appears right below your photo in search results, so write something memorable that says who you are and what type of opportunity you’re looking to find. For example, instead of writing “Nursing Student,” opt for “Nursing student looking for a pediatric care internship.”
3. Complete Your Profile: The more employers know about your educational background, the better! List South University as your current school and also include any other colleges or universities you’ve attended. Update your profile with the classes you’ve taken, notable projects you’ve completed, campus organizations you belong to and any past work experience you have.
4. Create a Dynamic Summary: The Summary section is your opportunity to speak to potential employers and tell them about your professional skills, experience and interests. Use this area to really sell yourself as a motivated candidate who is excited to get to work!
5. Update the Skills & Endorsements Section: Include as many relevant keywords and phrases as possible that describe your skills, experience and characteristics of the types of jobs you want. Not only do recruiters use this section to find qualified candidates to fill open positions, people can also endorse you for your existing abilities, which further boosts your credibility.
7. Make Connections: Often times it’s who you know that can help you find your dream job. Connect with your peers, former colleagues, family friends and anyone else you know on the site to start building your network.
8. Join Relevant Groups: Make your interest in your future profession clear by joining a few industry-relevant groups. Any you choose to join will be displayed in your profile for employers to see. Plus, this is a great way to start making industry connections and maybe even learn about job opportunities.
9. Share Status Updates: Get yourself on the radar of hiring managers by regularly sharing status updates on news, trends and other interesting information pertaining to your field of choice. If you’re currently reading a book, attending a conference or working on project relative to your future career path, let your network know!
10. Customize Your URL: Increase your appearance in search results by customizing your unique URL to match your name. For example, if your name is Jane Wilson, it would read www.linkedin.com/in/JaneWilson.
Want to learn more about LinkedIn? Attend the “Using LinkedIn and Social Media as Proper Professional/Personal Marketing Tools” webinar on 3/16/15, presented by South University, Online Programs instructor Cathy White. Visit the events calendar in the Campus Common to register!