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Professional Networking with LinkedIn: College Edition

Professional Networking with LinkedIn: College Edition

Writ­ten by: John Lemp

Why is Net­work­ing with LinkedIn Impor­tant in College?

Social Network Concept Resize 300x300 Professional Networking with LinkedIn: College EditionFace­book?  Twit­ter?  Insta­gram?  Snapchat?  Sure social media can be a fun way of con­nect­ing with friends and fel­low col­le­gians.  But, social net­work­ing can also be used to help you professionally.

Enter LinkedIn. 

LinkedIn is a pro­fes­sional, career-oriented social net­work­ing plat­form that allows an indi­vid­ual to con­nect with fel­low stu­dents, pro­fes­sors, co-workers, recruiters, and pro­fes­sion­als in a wide vari­ety of indus­tries.  Launched in 2003, LinkedIn has grown to over 260 mil­lion mem­bers span­ning 200 coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries.  If you do not have a LinkedIn pro­file already, I highly rec­om­mend that you take the time to start an account — it truly is an invalu­able tool when advanc­ing your career and build­ing your per­sonal brand in a pro­fes­sional manner.

I will be dis­cussing the dif­fer­ent com­po­nents of a LinkedIn pro­file in addi­tion to pro­vid­ing some do’s and don’ts regard­ing con­tent to include.  LinkedIn allows you to expand upon your resume, in that the con­tent you include on your LinkedIn pro­file is not lim­ited to one page.  Also, LinkedIn allows users to join cer­tain groups, such as the alumni asso­ci­a­tions of their respec­tive uni­ver­si­ties and past and cur­rent employers.

Here are some tips for cre­at­ing a LinkedIn pro­file, or per­fect­ing one that you cur­rently have:

LinkedIn Login Resize 300x199 Professional Networking with LinkedIn: College Edition

PHOTO: Include a pro­file photo on your LinkedIn account.  Recruiters appre­ci­ate see­ing your photo on your pro­file instead of the gray sil­hou­ette avatar.  That being said, your pro­file photo should be a pro­fes­sional photo of your­self, and your­self only!  It is not your Face­book pro­file pic or cover photo, nor is it your Twit­ter avatar.

HEADLINE: Your head­line is an occu­pa­tion that you cur­rently hold.  Since we are col­le­gians, a com­monly used head­line is “Stu­dent at ___________ Uni­ver­sity.”  If you cur­rently have an on-campus job or are tak­ing part in a semes­ter intern­ship, feel free to use that job title as your headline.

SUMMARY: The Sum­mary state­ment is sim­i­lar to an objec­tive on a resume.  It allows you to intro­duce your­self to your con­nec­tions and poten­tial employ­ers.  Include a sum­mary!  Recruiters like to see a pol­ished, com­pre­hen­sive LinkedIn pro­file and a sum­mary state­ment is a must for brand­ing your­self professionally.

EXPERIENCE: This is the sec­tion of your pro­file that resem­bles a resume.  In this sec­tion, include both pro­fes­sional and cam­pus expe­ri­ence.  As with a resume, include the job title of the posi­tion, the employer or stu­dent orga­ni­za­tion, the dates you held that posi­tion, the loca­tion, and a few bul­let points detail­ing your tasks and respon­si­bil­i­ties.  As with a resume, be entirely truth­ful.  Poten­tial employ­ers use your LinkedIn pro­file just like a resume or cover let­ter — as a screen­ing mechanism.

HONORS AND AWARDS: Include any and all hon­ors and awards you have received.  Exam­ples include Dean’s List, National Honor Soci­ety, Com­mu­nity Ser­vice Award, etc.

COURSES: Include all courses that you have suc­cess­fully com­pleted at your col­lege or uni­ver­sity.  This allows you to reveal to poten­tial employ­ers rel­e­vant knowl­edge and skills that you possess.

EDUCATION: Just like on your resume, include uni­ver­sity and high school edu­ca­tion infor­ma­tion as well as dates attended.  Fur­ther, in this edu­ca­tion sec­tion, you are able to list all of the groups and orga­ni­za­tions that you have been a part of while enrolled as a stu­dent at that par­tic­u­lar institution.

LANGUAGES: Include the lan­guages you know and your level of pro­fi­ciency (Exam­ple = Native, Lim­ited Work­ing Pro­fi­ciency, etc.)

SKILLS AND ENDORSEMENTS: There are so many skills options avail­able to choose from.  Exam­ples of skills include: Microsoft Excel, Event Plan­ning, Research, Pub­lic Speak­ing, Account­ing, Data Analy­sis, etc.  Kindly ask your col­leagues to endorse you for cer­tain skills in order to bol­ster your profile.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Try to have at least one rec­om­men­da­tion on your LinkedIn pro­file.  Feel free to ask a fel­low stu­dent, pro­fes­sor, co-worker, and/or super­vi­sor for a rec­om­men­da­tion.  When ask­ing for a rec­om­men­da­tion, use pro­fes­sional tone and kindly thank them for their assis­tance, in addi­tion to stat­ing that you would be will­ing to write a rec­om­men­da­tion for their profile.

GROUPS: Make sure you join groups that you are a mem­ber of.  Many groups are pri­vate and thus require you to send a join request to the group’s man­ager.  Exam­ples of groups include alumni asso­ci­a­tions, stu­dent orga­ni­za­tions, employer depart­ments, etc.

FOLLOWING: LinkedIn allows you to fol­low cer­tain com­pa­nies, employ­ers, and entre­pre­neurs.  I highly rec­om­mend fol­low­ing com­pa­nies that you are inter­ested in work­ing for, so that employer infor­ma­tion and even job oppor­tu­ni­ties appear in your LinkedIn newsfeed.

The fol­low­ing are some “Can’t Miss” tips for mak­ing and using a LinkedIn profile:

  • Include a pro­fes­sional pho­to­graph of your­self, and your­self only.
  • Write a sum­mary / objec­tive intro­duc­ing your­self and stat­ing your career goals.
  • Be hon­est with regards to detail­ing your pro­fes­sional and cam­pus expe­ri­ences.  You should be able to elab­o­rate upon your tasks and respon­si­bil­i­ties in an interview.
  • Ask for rec­om­men­da­tions and endorse­ments.  These truly strengthen your profile.
  • Make use of the fol­low fea­ture — fol­low employ­ers and indus­tries that you would like to work for at some point in your career.
  • Keep updat­ing your pro­file with cur­rent infor­ma­tion and experience.

Professional Development Resize 300x225 Professional Networking with LinkedIn: College Edition

LinkedIn is an excel­lent way of pro­fes­sion­ally con­nect­ing with peers, recruiters, co-workers, and super­vi­sors.  Using LinkedIn will have you net­work­ing like a leg­end in due course.



If you would like for us to take a look at your LinkedIn account to eval­u­ate, please pro­vide the link in our com­ments below!

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