It’s essential for college students to continuously network. Although I’ve previously posted about networking tips, relationship-building doesn’t stop after an introduction. How do students nurture a connection with a professional? LinkedIn provides many great opportunities for this. But in order to continue a favorable impression on the world’s largest professional network, you may want to fine tune your profile to showcase your accomplishments in the brightest light possible. Here are five tips for developing a solid profile.
Create a headline that represents your experience. When you’re in edit mode, a title will appear directly below your name, next to your profile picture. This title is basically your first impression on LinkedIn. Make it a compelling one that describes exactly what you’re capable of.
Write a meaningful summary. This is your time to shine. Tell a brief story about how you discovered your career passion or write about the qualities and characteristics that make you a desirable employee. Allow this section to let your personality show while remembering this is a professional networking website.
List your experience with samples. Like on a resume, this is the bulk of your profile. When listing where you work (or have worked), be sure to link to their page and provide samples if you have them. I don’t like to overcrowd my page with samples, so I try to stick to three or four samples per experience. This gives potential employers an inside look at your best work.
Take time to fill in the organizations, projects and honors & awards sections. Although these sections may not seem crucial, this gives readers a better sense of who you are, your involvement and work ethic. Don’t be afraid to brag on yourself a little bit. Treat your LinkedIn profile as a resume!
Endorse for skills. LinkedIn endorsements, which allow connections to vouch for the skills of others, are best used sparingly. If someone endorses you for a skill, and you don’t actually have that skill, you don’t have to display that endorsement on your profile. If you decide to endorse others, do so sparingly in the beginning of your career and only for fellow students or young professionals. Remember, an endorsement is not something to be taken lightly!
What other tips do you have for those who want to fine tune their LinkedIn profiles?