This is a guest blog post from Campus Ambassador Jackie O'Shaughnessy.
Many college students create a LinkedIn account because they've heard it can benefit their careers. They add an internship or two and maybe a profile picture, then forget to log in for months. Without helpful tips and tricks for utilizing LinkedIn, many feel lost or confused as to how they can best use this networking site. Here are a few simple tips to help you make the most of your LinkedIn page.
Following the leaders. Follow companies and receive updates about internship and job opportunities. To get started, pick a few of your favorite brands, companies, or agencies and begin following their posts. You'll start getting email updates from these companies about blog posts, job openings, and insights into their work environment.
More is more. Your resume is where you put the best of the best - the filet mignon of your work experience and activities. LinkedIn is where you can expound upon and explain your roles even further. Don't be bashful! Every internship, award, publication, and middle school art project should be present and accounted for. (Maybe not the art projects, but you understand what I mean!)
Take a professional-looking headshot. Employers do not want to see any duck faces, filters, and especially selfies. Have a friend who's handy with a camera, or even your mom with a quality Iphone camera snap your photo with good lighting and a simple background. You'll immediately stand out from many users with cropped, poor quality profile pictures by making an excellent first impression.
Be assertive. Don't be scared to introduce yourself to alumni on LinkedIn. Think about it - when a student at your high school reaches out about your current university, you're eager to help and give any advice you can. That's how most alumni feel, so reach out to them! No one gives better advice than someone knee-deep in the field you're looking to jump into.
Customize your searches. When utilized, LinkedIn is an excellent networking site. Looking for an internship in a certain location? Search for alumni in that area and send them a polite message! Found a firm or agency you'd love to work for? Search for their current employers, skim through their work experience, and find out what it takes to qualify there!
Strategic connecting is the key. If your department has a career services chair, follow him or her immediately. This person will be connected to the alumni of your networking dreams. From there, you can search his or her connections and find connected alumni in your ideal concentration and location.
Take some time to curate your profile, editing for grammar usage and spelling and you'll be well on your way to an all-star profile. Good luck in all your future LinkedIn endeavors!