As college students, most of us can claim to be an expert in at least one social media channel. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 88 percent of 18-29 year-olds use social media. While Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and other platforms can be great for entertainment and connecting with friends, the world of social media isn’t just all fun and games anymore. Professionals seeking students for internships and jobs are discovering the powerful tool social media can be. One platform might be coming to mind now: LinkedIn.
When it comes to LinkedIn, many students think that if they have created a platform and filled in as much information as they had they’re done. It turns out there is a lot more to it. While opening an account is the first step to becoming a successful LinkedIn user, there are many steps you can take to push your profile to the top of everyone’s search results and promote yourself as the best person for the job.
This is News You Can Use with a guide to becoming a LinkedIn master.
No Blank Spaces
Filling out all of the information the platform asks of you when you sign up is important. While this may seem obvious, many LinkedIn profiles you come across, especially those of college students, are missing valuable information. Top LinkedIn users recommend paying special attention to the summary, title and employment history. These are the first things a potential employer will see when they view your profile.
Just as important is a proper profile picture. Avoid selfies, group pictures, and bad quality images. To really stand out as a professional candidate use a nice, current headshot. Don’t leave recruiters and hiring managers wondering what you’re hiding by not having a profile picture.
Along with a profile picture, LinkedIn allows users to include other visual elements and work samples including images, presentations and videos. Adding extra information to your profile will help show potential employers who you are, and that you’re passionate about what you do.
Filling out your profile consistently with keywords that are relevant to your industry and work will help to optimize your profile, and push it to the top of the search results. The most important places to put keywords are in the headline, summary and work experience sections of your profile.
You’ve put in the time to create a killer LinkedIn profile, now use it! LinkedIn operates very similarly to Facebook, giving users the ability to share status updates, links, photos and videos. These network updates help add more meaning to connections you make on the platform.
As you grow your presence, it is important to make sure the connections you make are thoughtful and valuable. While it may be tempting to connect with every person LinkedIn recommends, numbers are not everything. Engagement is ranked higher on this platform than others, and connecting with people you don’t know won’t provide many benefits, and will just waste valuable time.
One of the biggest tips for maintaining a successful LinkedIn profile is updating your information. Think of LinkedIn as your digital resume, not only will employers and connections be interested in reading about your past experience, they will want to know what’s happening in your current work. Making sure your paper resume and LinkedIn profile match is becoming more and more important, especially as more companies are allowing job and internship applicants to apply for positions by connecting their LinkedIn accounts.
With LinkedIn, the power is truly in your hands. Make sure to take advantage of all the platform has to offer to stand out in a crowd! Voting closes the next day at 5:00 p.m.
Emily Fisher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.