The rise of LinkedIn as a social networking app has created another way for students to find and connect with new opportunities for their future. It allows college students to build a community with their peers and stay updated on each other's accomplishments while also promoting their own. But maximizing the medium is not always the easiest.
Here are eight tips on how to improve your LinkedIn page to market yourself to future employers.
Use a professional headshot as your profile picture.
A professional profile picture is one of the first indications to an employer that your account is reliable and that you take your profile seriously. It allows recruiters to match your face to your name.
You should make sure it's in front of a solid background, or if not, than make sure the background is blurred out and you're the main focus. Clothing wise, make sure you wear business casual or something you would wear to an interview or a professional meeting.
Make connections with as many people as you can.
Making connections grows your professional network and gives you a more credible profile. It also allows you to stay updated on your peers and what they’re doing for work. Similar to other social media sites, everyone wants to have a larger following or friends list. With LinkedIn, having a size-able friend list helps boost your profile. Connecting with more people can also lead you to learn about more job opportunities related to your interests.
Make your summary statement impactful.
Your profile's summary statement is where you can showcase your strengths and passions to make yourself stand out. Employers look for specific characteristics or skills when searching for who they want to hire. By using key words like "time management", "communicator" and "problem-solver", it will be easier for them to find you.
You should also use words in your summary that emphasize what position you're hoping to obtain in the future, including but not limited to "sales lead," "event planning" and "advertising executive." Using words or phrases like these can set you apart from your potential competition when applying for jobs.
Describe the skills you used in each of the positions listed on your profile.
Under each of their previous work experiences, you should explain what skills were necessary for that job and what they excelled in to give employers a better idea of their strengths in the workplace. For example, if a student was a host or hostess, they could describe how they worked in a high-stakes, team environment, had to strategically plan server assignments and learned important customer service skills as being the first face customers see when entering the business.
An explanation like this would help portray that you understand what skills you obtained in your position and how you recognize the strengths that you would bring to your next position.
List your accomplishments and certifications.
Listing your achievements helps to strengthen your profile by showing off your experience to employers and pitching their credentials. When employers see that you have a certification in a specific field that they're looking for, it makes them much more likely to have interest in your profile and possibly reach out to you about a position.
When looking for work, let employers know by putting “#OpenToWork” on your profile.
Employers will see that you are serious about finding a job and pursuing a profession. This feature allows you to control who is able to view your profile. You can select if you want all LinkedIn users to be able to see your posts or just recruiters.
LinkedIn will boost a profile in the search results when recruiters are looking for employees with certain skill sets. Students just have to set their preferred location and what careers they may be interested in.
Follow significant influencers in your industry of interest.
Following important people in your field helps to put relevant and compelling information on your feed, which you can repost to show your followers more about you and your interests. Employers see that you are knowledgeable in your preferred industry when you interact with posts made by successful people. This can help you become more connected and interested in positions that may come up.
Post unique work that you’ve done.
Posting your original work allows employers to see examples of the kind of work you can produce and your skill level within the industry. It includes papers, projects and multimedia products that you’re especially proud of. You can upload this work in the specific experience section or in your summary. Employers like to see what you can do before they hire you to ensure that you are the right candidate they're searching for.
If you incorporate these tips and tricks into your profile, it will give you a better chance at making a good impression to a future employer.