Got a LinkedIn account? Congratulations! You are one of the many professionals who are on the right track. If not, have no fear I am here to save the day.
At some point in your life, you will need to create a resume, have tons of cover letters in your back pocket and most importantly a professional photo. As an advocate for professional success, I believe it is important to sell your skills in every way possible. As a recent college graduate and current graduate student, LinkedIn has helped me build my network by keeping up with recruiters from companies I would potentially love to work with.
If you have a Facebook or Instagram account, why don’t you have a LinkedIn account? I am amazed at how many people I meet who tell me that they do not have a LinkedIn account. Regardless of the field you decide to go into, LinkedIn is a perfect way to market your skills and work experience on an online networking platform. Whether you’re looking for a new job or looking to gain connections with businesses and old colleagues, LinkedIn is the right place to start.
Here are a few simple tips on how to build your LinkedIn profile:
#1: Make sure you have a proper professional photo
The first thing anyone will see about you is your photo. It is what makes or breaks your online presence. Essentially, you would need a high-quality headshot. I would recommend you smiling in the photo. To my surprise, you attract more attention when you smile in a photo.
#2: Prepare for your content
Secondly, you will need to gather your resume, any current biographies about yourself and a set of skills you would like people to know. For example, since I am in the Broadcast/Media field, I want employers to know that I have great communication, teamwork and public speaking skills. This is just to name a few. I would also recommend that if you have not updated your resume or cover letter to do so as soon as possible. You never know when a recruiter may ask for a copy of your resume. Additionally, they often ask you to bring your resume during an interview or career fair.
#3: Create a summary about yourself
The bio section of your LinkedIn page comes immediately after your photo and your headline. This is an opportunity for you to showcase your skills and give recruiters a sense of where you are in your career. For example, I began my biography in a third person conversation. Some people prefer first person but I prefer otherwise.
“Barbara Prempeh is a graduate of…. holding a bachelors in…. She also holds a minor in…”
You will want to also include the degrees you hold, the job you are currently in and what your career interests are. Lastly, you should add your future career goals.
#4 Fill in your headline
As I have mentioned earlier, after your photo your headline appears. You want to make sure that your headline is simple and straight forward. List what your current position is.
Currently, my headline says Reporter and Student at my graduate school.
Since this is my present position, I want employers to know that I am currently pursuing a masters degree while actively working part-time.
#5 EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE
After you have done the most important part, you will now need to add your work experience and level of education in the middle section of your LinkedIn page. List your current position and past positions. Make sure to never leave it blank. Always add your responsibilities at the job. This will give employers the chance to get to know the kind of things you have done and what skills set you can offer them at their company.
Following this, you want to add all levels of education. This also includes your high school degree. In each section, make sure you add the kinds of extracurricular activities you were part of and your GPA if you are comfortable with that.
Lastly, add any other things you participated in. Whether it be volunteering or being part of an organization, it is all part of who you are!
Lets not forget:
After doing each of these steps, start connecting with people right away. Currently, I have over a 1,000 connections on LinkedIn. The more you connect with people the more people are able to find you. I would also recommend you signing up and saving specific jobs that are being posted from companies you would like to work for. Make sure you like their pages and connect with people who currently work there. I usually like to look through their employees and connect with those who are fresh out of college or those who have been working there for about 2-3 years.
I would also recommend you to fill out your skills on the bottom of your experience section. It is important for employers to know the type of basic working skills you have. As for endorsements, those who know you or have worked with you will usually endorse you for specific skills.
If you are interested in seeing an example, I recommend you looking up my page and searching for me to get an idea of what your page should look like.
LinkedIn: Barbara Prempeh
That’s all folks! I hope this will help you set up your LinkedIn profile. Till the next blog post.. see you soon!