By: Natalie Campbell
Before college I never paid much attention to what LinkedIn was, and potentially what it has to offer. It turns out it’s not just for top executives or old people with briefcases. It’s time to transition from campus to career, and the amount of college students looking for a job is bigger than ever. Anything you can do to differentiate yourself from the rest is important. A complete and clean LinkedIn profile can help you do just that.
LinkedIn can help you:
1. Showcase Yourself
Show people who you are and where you come from. Your profile is equivalent to an online resume although, unlike a paper copy, you have no control over when or who sees it. Pretend someone is always looking, and make sure you keep your profile clean and up-to-date. This means you should have a concise profile summary, similar to what your cover letter would look like. Be detailed but keep it simple. No one wants to read a lengthy bio, so make it short and straight to the point. Show that you are confident about your qualifications and personal goals by including actual examples of your work to show employers what you can produce. After you have created a thorough LinkedIn profile, it’s time to use this business-oriented site for what it’s made for.
2. Get Found
It’s not necessarily always about what you know, but who you know. In today’s job market, it’s all about networking and making connections. To start out, invite people you know and trust such as your friends, family, former colleges and even current co-workers. As you build connections, try and customize your requests with a little personal note on why you want to connect. Joining groups on LinkedIn can help you branch out and form new connections as well. Reach out to alumni from your school in similar career fields for advice in their profession. Get social proof of your skills and talents and let others recommend and endorse you. After you’ve built up a strong network base, you can start job-hunting or seeking a desired internship.
3. Start Applying
After you’ve tailored your profile to its upmost perfection, it’s time to look for your ideal job. There’s no better place to launch your career than LinkedIn. Do your research and visit different organization’s company pages. Don’t be shy, join groups that intrigue you, diversify yourself. Make sure your profile has a good, professional picture of you. This is a critical aspect to making a good first impression. Be sure to review your recommendations. Try to get your foot in the door and access experts in your area of interest. Also, inbox recruiters to help you find what job applicants they’re looking for. Remember, your profile is essentially your resume that never sleeps and it should scream, “Hire me!” So, stand out, be active and leverage this amazing social network.