Perfecting Your LinkedIn
Now more than ever, it is extremely important to perfect your online media presence. The best way to do this is through LinkedIn! Navigating LinkedIn might seem scary at first, but it is easy once you get started.
Step One: Take a professional headshot
Having a profile picture helps to put a face with the name. It is just one more step you can make to help whoever is reading your page to really connect with you. If you don’t have a professional headshot already, CWIB and other organizations on campus usually have a headshot workshop where they can take one for you. If you can’t attend, don’t worry! All you need to do is put on your best business attire, find a plain background, and grab a friend to take your photo! I recommend taking your picture outside any of Virginia Tech’s classroom buildings, as the Hokie stone provides a great background.
Step Two: Add a header photo
While it’s not required you have a header photo, it is recommended. Feel free to use this space to show off your creativity. Many students at Virginia Tech like to include a photo of their favorite spot on campus. This will alert recruiters that you’re a student at Virginia Tech, which is great for attracting alumni that want to help another Hokie!
Step Three: Fill out your Intro
Of course, you want to fill out your full name, location, and most up-to-date education. For your location, you can either use your current location or you could even change it to the location you’re looking for a job in. You will also have the opportunity to create a headline. Some students chose to highlight their current role in a club or position at work as their headline. You can also set your headline as your future career goal; for example “aspiring industrial engineer”. Your headline doesn’t have to be anything fancy, you could just put “junior finance student at Virginia Tech”; however, the more specific you are the better. Use this space to attract recruiters to your page.
Step Four: Customize your About
Your About is one of the most important parts of your LinkedIn profile. This is your chance to let the reader know who you are and what you are looking for. For my profile, I listed my major, graduation date, plans for taking the CPA exam, and what career opportunities I am interested in pursuing this summer. You don’t have to make this section just statistics, though. Use this spot to be creative. To add a unique touch to my profile, I added my top five strengths from the Clifton Strengths Finder.
Step Five: Select skills that tailor to job descriptions
LinkedIn will already have a ton of skills for you to choose from. Try to select at least three that you feel you embody; however, only select it if you really feel comfortable with it. There is even the option to add in your own skills or take quizzes to show you’ve mastered a skill. You can take these quizzes as many times as you need. It’s also very helpful to endorse your friends’ skills if you believe they exhibit a certain one well. If you endorse your friends’ skills, it will encourage them to endorse some of yours, too; this will increase both of your profile’s credibility.
Step Six: Match your experiences and organizations on your resume to each section
Your LinkedIn should closely resemble your resume but allows you more chances to expand on your experiences. If you have any past projects or articles you’ve worked on you can attach them in the featured setting. When you’re adding organizations to your LinkedIn, make sure you choose the national icon for the club.
Step Seven: Customize your URL
To make it easier to share your LinkedIn profile with others, you can customize your URL. At the bottom of your profile, you will find a button that says URL. If you click edit, you can change it to whatever you want it to be. Click save, and you’re done! It is recommended that you use something like linkedin.com/yourname.
Step Eight: Add your email
One simple thing many people forget is to add their email at the bottom of their LinkedIn. Providing your email gives recruiters a way to reach out to you. You can also attach your email contacts to LinkedIn, so then LinkedIn can suggest connections for you.
Step Nine: Connect with your friends
Once your profile is all ready to go, the fun begins! LinkedIn will start suggesting people for you to connect with, based on your mutual connections. Even if you don’t know who someone is, but maybe they also go to Virginia Tech, I’d go ahead and connect with them. You never know who you might meet again in the future. It’s also important to get involved on LinkedIn by following brands you want to work for/use and commenting on your friend’s achievements! You can even update your status to share any exciting news that comes your way such as obtaining an internship, leadership role, or finishing a challenging project. One last thing to note is that people will actually be notified when you visit their page, so if you don’t like this feature you might want to turn it off. This can easily be done by going to your settings and clicking visibility. Then all you have to do is select private mode. Once this is completed people won’t be able to tell you visited their profile, and likewise, you won’t be able to see who visits yours.
Following these easy steps, you’ll have your LinkedIn profile ready to go in no time. Just remember to regularly update your LinkedIn like you would your resume. Happy connecting!
By: Allison Gray