Saturday, June 30, 2012

LinkedIn 101

There is no denying that our generation is extremely knowledgeable in terms of social media. However, I feel that I am still not completely positive how to best utilize LinkedIn and all of its features. Being that this social network is so incredibly valuable in regards to the future and possible job opportunities, it comes as no surprise that it is somewhat of a trickier platform to effectively utilize.

Undoubtedly, potential employers will one day glance at your LinkedIn accounts from time to time which is why I felt that everyone could use somewhat of a crash course in how to use it to its full advantage.

I have compiled information from various blogs and websites regarding LinkedIn and have came up with the following tips that I see to be most useful:

  • Make your profile image a picture of just you.
    • Using a picture in which you are in either a casual environment or surrounded by others makes you appear unprofessional.
  • Your headline should be meaningful and say whatever it is that you want a potential employer to know about you.
    • LinkedIn will automatically use your most recent employment. However, you have the ability to change it to say whatever you would like it to say.
  • Make your summary go deeper than you normally would.
    • Your entire profile puts your past experiences and expertise in black and white. Speak of a lifetime goal or an interesting skill you possess to make your page memorable.
  • Become familiar with technical skills you possess.
    • These key words are essential to have on your profile because it shows off your industry knowledge.
  • Update your status periodically.
    • Doing this makes others notice you, as well as shows your passion for staying up-to-date with current events.
  • Change your URL from the default one given to a personalized one of your name.
    • It looks more professional and you can easily include it in a resume or e-mail signature this way.
  • Make your profile public.
    • You want people to know when you have viewed their page and being completely visible allows potential employers to find you with no problem. 
  • Get recommendations.
    • Give to get. Write a recommendation for someone you truly admire in the workplace and hopefully they will return the favor.
  • Join groups that pertain to your major of study.
    • Just joining is not enough. Be sure to participate in discussions in order to get both your voice and presence out there.
  • Finally, if you want to show up in searches done by potential employers, headhunters, or recruiters, you need connections (and lots of them)
    • When a person like a potential employer does a search, people in their network show up first no matter what. This can be by either a group or direct connection. Therefore, unless you have a decent amount of connections, you are less likely to show up in searches and get noticed for hire.
    • Basically, connect with as many people as you can! However, be cautious if you decide to add people that you do not actually know. If a person expresses that they do not know you, LinkedIn will then make you enter a person's e-mail every time you go to connect with them.
To read Hannah Morgan's full Youtern article, click here.

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