Oh LinkedIn. I think I’ve had one since my senior year but that’s only because I think I may have been ahead of the curve. It can be hard to start one and hard to get views. Not only that but who even knows the point of LinkedIn? Well, here are my top five tips on using LinkedIn from a college student’s point of view. Be sure to check back because I’m going to get them from a professor’s point of view and a hiring manager’s point of view as well.
- List as much as you can. I know this sounds silly. Especially when we’re going from a page-long resume. Your LinkedIn is a place where you can really give people a feel of who you are and the things you’re involved in. Think of this as the opportunity for a hiring manager to look further into the type of person you are. List jobs, volunteer work and if you have a unique hobby (like speaking Arabic if you’re me) list it. You want to not only show your education and experience but also show you’re a person. You have the room!
- Include the link on your resume. I cannot stress this enough. I have mine at the top next to the rest of my contact information: professional Twitter, phone number etc. This will allow hiring managers you’re actually actively applying for a job with the opportunity to learn more about you. Something that is big in journalism right now is “building your brand.” With any job, your LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to build your brand.
- Give you LinkedIn some TLC. No, that doesn’t mean post as often as you do on your Facebook or Twitter. While it is a social media, it’s one that you should think about before you post things. With that said, if you have a blog that’s appropriate post your links there, spend time looking for connections, join groups that relate to you or what you want to do and make connections with people you know. The more activity you’re putting on your page, the more views you will get.
- Give descriptions for your jobs. Don’t list what job you had and when and then stop there. Take the time to think about what you’ve done and write a short paragraph explaining the job and your responsibilities. Like I said, this is the opportunity for you to include everything you couldn’t on your resume. You want to make sure you’re going to stand out and give as much information as possible.
- Use spell check and grammar check. I cannot stress this enough. Nothing is more unattractive in a potential candidate than one who is not spelling correctly or using the wrong there, their or they’re. It’s simple and quick to do a quick once over before hitting publish and it might be the difference between you and the next guy.
Navigating the world of finding a career after college is hard. Now add in 100 other applicants and a growing world of technology and it only gets more challenging. Use these five tips though, and you’ll be that much closer to using LinkedIn effectively.
Did I leave any out? Do you have tricks of your own? Leave them in the comments below.