By: Paulina Kostecki
If you are a business professional and don’t already have a profile on LinkedIn, it’s time to create one! LinkedIn is a great tool to use for networking and also for showcasing yourself to become discovered and noticed by potential employers. Check out the top 10 rules for your LinkedIn profile below:
1. Use a professional headshot for your profile picture
LinkedIn profiles with professional headshots get 14 times more profile views, according to DMR Business Statistics. With more than 146 million LinkedIn users in the U.S., having a professional headshot could be the key to your next career move.
2. Write using first person view point
It’s always important to remember that LinkedIn is a social platform. Therefore, it is important to remember that you are there to be social. Writing in first person point of view keeps readers closer and makes you seem more sociable. Third person can alienate the readers of your profile.
3. Show off your academic AND professional achievements
I think this is a critical component of any young professionals LinkedIn profile. It reminds me of that old adage of a young professional being told during an interview, “I can’t hire you unless you have work experience,” and the young professional responding with, “but how do I get work experience if you don’t hire me.” Unfortunately, this conversation still happens on a daily basis. Rounding out your LinkedIn profile with your academic and professional achievements is a great way to show that you have the drive and skills needed for a firm to take a chance on you. They may see that you are a perfect cultural fit, even if you don’t have a ton of experience.
4. Add projects, volunteer experiences, and languages
Adding projects, volunteer experiences and languages shows your depth of knowledge and experience outside the collegiate environment. Again, it is an opportunity to show that you have worldly experience even if you don’t have direct work experience.
5. Keep your page updated
LinkedIn is not a one and done experience. Make sure you update your profile after you’ve completed an internship, studied abroad, completed a cool project or done something that a new employer may be interested in learning about.
6. Avoid using cliché words
Need I say more. This one is self-explanatory. Keep it professional.
7. Make connections!
Just like other social platforms, connections are important because it is truly virtual networking. Connections allow you to see other people that may be connected to your first level connections. These first level connections can be a gateway to new introductions with other people. Take time to connect to anyone in the company you are interning at or within your college or university. Connect with professors, peers, and anyone that has been influential in your life.
8. Add endorsements to showcase your skills
You can add a maximum of 50 skills to your profile. They're a simple and effective way of building your professional brand and engaging your network. Once you've added a skill to your profile, your skills can be validated by 1st-degree connections to reinforce their weighting.
9. Use spellcheck to check for typos
Again, make sure you are error free. There is no reason you should have any typos in your profile.
10. Put time into your profile to make it unique
There are plenty of people that put their own unique spin on their profile. There is nothing wrong with setting yourself apart from your peers or competition. Just remember to keep it professional and have fun.
Follow these quick tips and you’ll have yourself a professional and good-looking LinkedIn profile. Employers will be able to easily see your professional life outlined. For LinkedIn advice or questions, leave a comment below!
Paulina Kostecki is an intern at OpTech this summer working in the Marketing Department. Paulina will complete her last year at Oakland University this fall and brings readers a unique perspective in her writing – speaking candidly about the ups and downs of bridging from college life to a corporate career. She shares her thoughts and experiences every Tuesday to help fellow students or young professionals seamlessly navigate through this transition, quite possibly one of the most daunting and invigorating experiences of a young person’s life.
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