There are now various ways to connect to employers about potential jobs or internships online. One of the somewhat new ways is to connect online is through the site LinkedIn. According to LinkedIn, it is a way for you to: “Build your professional identity online and stay in touch with colleagues and classmates,” “Discover professional opportunities, business deals and new ventures,” “Get the latest news, inspiration and insights you need to be great at what you do.” LinkedIn is one of the tools that you can use to build and visualize your personalized professional network. You can also use LinkedIn to build your personal brand. With your personal brand you can market your skills and experiences to potential employers.
Making a well-informed and professional LinkedIn profile page can be challenging. Here is an easy five step list to achieving an impressive LinkedIn profile.
Step One: Make sure that your profile picture is professional. You should be wearing business attire or business casual with a plain or office setting background. A good rule to remember is that you want your profile picture to be from the waist up. Leave the selfies for other social media sites.
Step Two: Leave the numbers game for Twitter. LinkedIn is not a popularity contest. Professionals viewing your profile will not think that you are more experienced based on more connections. Build your LinkedIn connections based on people you are certain that will be helpful and supportive of your career development. With your connections, remember to take it slow. After meeting someone in the professional world it is not a good idea to ask to be their connection an hour after meeting them. Do not be afraid to reach out after meeting a business professional, just give it some time. When connecting with them, leave a thoughtful note that will make you stand out.
Step Three: Remember to set your privacy settings accordingly. For example, if you do not want others to see what groups you are following, it can be hidden from your profile. It is a good idea to hide when you have applied to one company, but are following their main competitor on LinkedIn.
Step Four: Unlike other social media sites, you are notified when someone has viewed your profile and vice versa. Do not be shy about the fact that you can see who has viewed your profile and vice versa. Feel free to browse profiles to see if there are any opportunities that are fit for you. Although you may see this as “creeping,” try not to see it in that way. LinkedIn is about networking and finding opportunities.
Step Five: Express yourself on your LinkedIn page. Don’t be afraid to have a thorough profile of education, experiences and skills. LinkedIn gives you the ability to show these things on your profile, but it allows you to also make it more personal. You can outline your experiences and skills in the first person. Sometimes, professionals will add a personal story of their career development journey to their profile.
These five steps can help you build a great network of connections and an outstanding LinkedIn profile page. The Career Center is also here to help you build your LinkedIn profile. Be aware of upcoming events focused on social media or LinkedIn in the spring semester, including a LinkedIn workshop on February 9, 2015.