With more than 875 million members, LinkedIn is considered the largest professional networking platform. Members can connect with others, build their professional network, search for job opportunities, and even learn new skills through LinkedIn Learning. LinkedIn is a great resource for career-related matters, which is why it is so important for professionals to establish a LinkedIn presence.
The following are steps you can take to construct an effective LinkedIn profile:
Add a Profile Picture
Networking is all about building relationships with others, and having a profile picture will help put a face to your name. People are more likely to engage with profiles with a picture on it because it makes them feel more comfortable and confident in their interactions with you, which can then establish trust and credibility. Having a professional headshot is great, but any photo that is a close-up of your face works as well. Keep your attire work appropriate and background neutral.
Write a Summary for the About Section
This is your chance to introduce yourself and provide background into your professional experience. You can think of this section like an elevator pitch for yourself that is displayed on your profile; it should be a brief summary that highlights your key skills and accomplishments. For salespeople or marketers, emphasis should be placed towards buyers, so you could tailor this section towards them. Don’t be afraid to include interests or hobbies, as it helps provide some insight into your personality outside of work and can be a great point of conversation. It is recommended to close with a call to action; this could be inviting people to connect with you on LinkedIn or provide your email for further communication.
Fill in the Experience Section
Including a description for each experience does 2 things: it helps provide context to the role and helps boost visibility for your profile. Having relevant keywords in your description can cause your profile to show up in more searches, which can lead to recruiters reaching out to you more. You may even have others reaching out to you for networking calls to learn more about a specific skill or project you’ve worked on. LinkedIn can be thought of as like a digital resume, so adding links and attachments to digital portfolios can enhance the credibility of your profile. It is also important to note that since your profile on LinkedIn is mostly public, you should be cognizant of the type of information you are including on your profile. Proprietary information relating to current and/or previous positions should be kept off of LinkedIn.
Display Skills and Certifications
There is a section where you can list your skills and certifications. If you completed a course or training program, then you have the option to add the certificate to your profile; this could make you more appealing to recruiters looking for candidates with a specific skill set. LinkedIn also offers skills assessments, which are small quizzes designed to demonstrate your competency in a particular skill like Microsoft Excel. Results have shown that candidates are 30% more likely to get hired if they have a Verified Skills badge on their profile. People in your network can also endorse you for skills, which provides social proof of your expertise and can bring about more exposure on the platform.
Grow Your Network
After you have your profile fleshed out, you can focus on growing your network. Start with people that you know in real life from school or work and send them connection requests. LinkedIn shows the degree of a connection, denoted by 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. A 1st connection means that you are directly connected to that person, a 2nd means that you and that person share a connection with one of your 1st degree connections, while 3rd+ means you both share a connection with one of your 2nd degree connections. People are more likely to accept requests from you if you share mutuals; in the case that you don’t, it’s always beneficial to send a connection request with a message introducing yourself and explaining why you want to make that connection. Interacting with other people’s posts can also your visibility, as it shows up on other people’s feeds.
Utilize the Open to Work Feature
LinkedIn has an Open to Work feature that is displayed on your profile. You have the option to limit the visibility of this feature, either limiting it to just recruiters or anyone in your network. If you allow all LinkedIn members to view that you are #OpenToWork, you can also add the #OpenToWork photo frame to your profile picture. There is also a way to specify job roles and locations you are interested in; from there, LinkedIn’s program will use that information and show recruiters your profile when they are searching for those particular attributes in a candidate.
How Student Hires Can Help
Student Hires aims to educate students in areas related to career development. We provide one-of-a-kind programs for students to explore different careers and gain relevant experience before transitioning into entry-level roles. Our workforce development programs prepare students for future careers in a variety of Career Technical Education sectors.
Job Fair Blog Series
Student Hires will be holding a resume review booth at the Riverside Job Fair on Tuesday, January 31. The fair will be from 4:30 – 7:30pm at the Galleria at Tyler. Come join us there!
Leading up to the job fair, we will be publishing a new article each week in our Job Fair Blog Series. Below are the articles:
- 5 Tips for Crafting the Perfect Resume
- Elevator Pitches: Everything Students Should Know
- Dress for Success: 4 Tips On How to Dress for a Job Interview
- Networking 101: Tips on How to Build Your Professional Network
- The Power of LinkedIn: 6 Tips on Building a Good LinkedIn Profile
- Ace Any Job Interview With These 6 Tips
- 5 Important Things To Do After a Job Fair
2023 is no longer the year of posting stories—it’s about sending others connection requests in attempts to expand your professional network. LinkedIn may be seen as a professional platform, but it is social at its core. It capitalizes on this idea of social connecting in the professional sense. Invest time and effort in crafting a comprehensive and compelling profile with these tips and engage with the connections in your network; if you do so, you’ll be on your way to maximizing your professional opportunities and building a strong personal brand on LinkedIn.