Do you have a LinkedIn? If you do, then do you use your LinkedIn to its fullest potential? Linkedin is an online networking platform where you will have the opportunity to connect with recruiters, alumni, and affiliates in the industry of your interest. It’s like a professional Facebook that features your online resume!
Using LinkedIn for the first time can be intimidating. Setting up your profile may seem complex and confusing because you may not know where to start. Breaking down all these steps will make the process of creating your profile easier. To utilize the benefits of this professional media platform, you must have a strong profile and network with those in your career field of interest. Continue reading below for a step by step guide for setting up your profile.
- Choosing Your Photo: Choose a professional or a nice portrait of yourself for your profile picture. This photo is equivalent to your first impression on the people you connect with online. It’s okay if your picture isn’t perfect because you can always change it in the future. For UCSD students, be on the lookout for campus career-related events where you can take your LinkedIn profile pictures which could be found on Handshake.
- Headline: This part should be concise and straight to the point, telling your audience about your role or aspiring job title
- Summary: As an introduction of a cover letter, this is where you write about your strengths, skills, and what motivates you to pursue your endeavors.
- Experience: You should fill this part out with relevant work history experiences, contributions, and accomplishments. Including photos, videos, and projects pertaining to your experiences’ descriptions will make your profile stand out. Use bullet points in this section. Be creative with your choice of words.
- Organizations: Having organizations on your profile shows that you are a well-rounded student in addition to being studious.
- Education: Include your college, relevant educational experiences, major, and graduation year.
- Volunteer Experiences: Voluntary work should never go unnoticed. Include your volunteer experiences to show that you are passionate about what you do without compensation necessary.
- Skills and Expertise: When you add your skills onto your profile, your connections can verify your abilities by giving their endorsement. This makes the strength of the skills that you listed more credible. If you don’t know what to put down as your strengths, online strength assessments can help. For instance, Traitify can tell you what your skills are after filling out a quick 90-second quiz. The assessment connects pictures traces your interaction to the test through the company’s artificial intelligence software to conclude your results. The Career Center on campus can also help you discover your skills when you come for a drop in or make an appointment with a career advisor. (Fluency in other languages can count as a skill as well).
- Honor and Awards: This is the space to show off your awards! Impress your recruiters with your achievements.
- Courses: Including relevant work, courses is important because it shows your recruiters specifically what you have learned and have been exposed to. This is beneficial for recruiters who are seeking an emphasis on a certain topic in your field of study.
- Projects: Putting your projects on your LinkedIn shows your audience that you enjoy what you do. If your career goals pertain to your hobbies, then you are most likely set for life. Be proud and show the world the projects that you dedicated your time and effort to.
- Recommendations: The benefit of making connections is having mentors and colleagues that are willing to help you in your search for a job. Your recommendations make you a credible candidate for your next job.
The more effort that you put in customizing your profile, the more likely it will stand out to recruiters and companies. You will always have opportunities in the future to add more achievements and enhance your profile. Building a strong profile is a work in progress. Using LinkedIn may seem complex, but you should keep using it to practice your professionalism and networking skills.
Start by making connections with your coworkers or friends. Making connections with alumni from your university is also impactful. People are more likely to help you if you have a similar background because they have been through the same shoes as you to get to where they are today. Your primary connections can help you open doors by connecting you to their own peers. Network, meet the right people, and you might just be meeting your next job.
Last Key Tips:
- To start networking with recruiters and colleagues that you meet in real life. Ask if they’re okay with you connecting with them on LinkedIn. Then ask for their name and verify with them that it’s the right profile! Connections are like friends on Facebook.
- People can see if you have viewed their profile! You will be incognito to them when you are signed out of your account.