By: Kylie Ponn
Many college students have heard about the business networking avenue called LinkedIn but few take advantage of this wonderful social media tool. LinkedIn helps you establish yourself and find potential job connections and references for future endeavors. The sooner you start creating your profile the better, because employment and job searching is very competitive.
Here are 10 ways to improve your LinkedIn profile.
1) Add a professional headshot to your profile. Although you may be skeptical due to privacy reasons, the recruiters and employers often like to connect an image and face to someone. It also works as a first impression as well, so don’t pick a blurry or bad quality image. A tasteful, professional image will give your profile a leg up to those with no image.
2) Join groups that relate to your line of previous, current, and aspiring work. You will be shocked how many connections you can make. Be active in these groups, read posts and also comment back and post your own opinions and comments.
3) Customize your linked in web address so you can add the link on your resume. Make it easy for employers to access your profile and see all that you have accomplished. Even consider making a QR code, which allows phone to scan and directly go to your web address and profile. There are free apps and websites to help with creating your QR code, and modifying your LinkedIn web address is simple, click on “edit” then change the URL to http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/yourname.
4) Keep your feed and profile current. Update your profile by continually posting articles, videos, stories, that you find interesting. Share your interests and what you’re learning and experiencing, employers and those you connect with will like to see your curiosity and that you are up to date with what is going on in the world.
5) Add links to other blogs, personal websites, social media, etc. Under contact information you can add links to various outlets. Share past and current works that provide a sample of what you can do to future employers, also don’t be afraid to spice things up by posting videos of lectures, presentations, or even power points you’ve created or presented.
6) Utilize endorsements. Endorsements are a way for validating your skills listed on your profile. People you connect with are able to endorse any skill you post, you can also choose to hide or delete endorsements from certain people.
7) Add skills. Adding skills shows you are always growing and learning. Employers will like to see your multitude of qualities and skills, as opposed to those stagnant profiles with only a select few skills listed.
8) Always update your workforce history. Employers like to see continuous experience in the workforce; this distinguishes you from the crowd that may only have one previous job listed. That goes for internships as well.
9) Check others profiles. Don’t be afraid to check out your competition. This is a great way to get ideas and formatting designs as well as see what jobs people have had, or have at the moment.
10) Write your own notes when connecting with someone, the generic automated e-vite that is sent out is unfriendly and cold compared to a good old fashioned, personalized note.