Updated: February 2018
So you’ve been convinced to make a LinkedIn profile. But now what? Here’s some tips on what you should have in your profile, and how to start being active on LinkedIn.
In my previous post, I talked about how your profile is basically a digital resume. Except with LinkedIn, you can go one step further by uploading projects you’ve completed, including links to any websites or blogs you run, and tagging the organizations you have worked or interned for.
To start, you don’t have to include every single detail about you, but there are some basic components of your profile that you need to set. First, choose a profile photo that is professional and shows your face clearly. The number one LinkedIn mistakes is not having the right profile picture!
Next, add your education and any current/previous work or internship experience. If the organizations you have worked for are on LinkedIn, make sure to tag them in your list so when other users search for them you will show up on their radar.
As you’re completing your profile, LinkedIn will automatically give you prompts to help you complete the details of your profile faster. Including five of your skills and a summary of your expertise and interests will make your profile even stronger.
Being Active on LinkedIn.
To help get noticed by professionals, there are a few ways you can start building your activity on LinkedIn.
Post statuses. These statuses work similar to Facebook, but are meant to tell the LinkedIn community what you are up to professionally. Just gave a presentation? Landed an internship? Found out interesting news about your field? Write about it! You can also share interesting (but relevant!) articles, pictures, or videos as well. These are the types of content you want to share to catch professionals’ eyes on LinkedIn.
CAUTION: this is not meant to be used for the kinds of statuses you put on Facebook. The LinkedIn community does not want to know what you ate for breakfast!
Seek out connections. There are three types of connections on LinkedIn: first-, second-, and third-degree. Start making first-degree connections by inviting professionals or students you know or have worked with to connect with you. From there you can build your list of connections to extend to professionals that may be interested to hire you someday!
ANOTHER CAUTION: Start off by making first-degree connections with students and professionals who actually know you. A good rule of thumb when you’re first starting to invite others to connect with you is: could they talk favorably about my skills and abilities to someone else? If so, connect with them. If not, you should probably steer clear of connecting with them just yet.
Join groups. There are a ton of groups on LinkedIn specific to your field, your education history, even your general interests. Join three to five of these groups and actively participate in the conversations that are happening in them. You can start by joining the Capital University Alumni group. You can still be a student and join this group, making it a great way to network with students and graduates alike. Also, you can join our Career Development group!
So now that you have the basics down, it’s time to get connected!
Still haven’t joined LinkedIn? Join today!
— Shannon Ball, Rebecca Reynolds PCA