STORY CONTRIBUTED BY Rebecca Wehner, Bay Path Student Newsroom Contributor
1. Formatting your profile
In order to showcase your personality and credentials through your profile, include as much relevant information about yourself as possible, including your level of education, contact information, and current employer. Use your full name, and if you have a common name, consider using your middle name or initial as well. For names that may be hard to say, there is a Pronunciation feature on the LinkedIn app that can be used to make it easier.
2. Including a Photo
Studies show that LinkedIn profiles with a profile picture are 14 times more likely to be viewed than those without! Presentation is extremely important, so it is best to dress professionally for your photo and avoid any excessive or distracting jewelry. Use a neutral background, face the light, and make sure to smile.
3. Creating the Perfect Headline
The addition of a creative and enticing tagline can be just what is needed to make you stand out from others pursuing similar goals as you. It should take no longer than 30 seconds for a viewer to read, and it should provide insights to questions such as, "What makes this person unique?" and "How would others describe them?" If you are searching for a specific career opportunity, it is important to include that in this section.
4. Citing Education and Experience
When listing your educational history, include all notable experiences, such as study abroad and exchange programs, GPA, and significant activities/clubs. When listing your work experience, you should go in reverse chronological order like Education; include all internships and side gigs, and write in paragraphs rather than bullet points. Use industry-specific terms and cite results if possible.
5. Referencing your Interests
Adding a list of influencers and outlets that you like to receive news and updates from can create more connections through your profile. The influencers that you prefer to view can have impressive reach through a variety of industries. The channels on the site organize their news articles by topic.
6. Navigation and Use of the Site
If you are not automatically directed to the home screen, the page can be accessed by clicking on the blue square labeled "IN" on the upper left corner. Notifications can be viewed by clicking on the bell icon, and messages can be found by clicking on the word bubble icon. You are advised to remain active on LinkedIn even if you have a job, updating your profile as you learn new skills and earn new credentials, and write recommendations for others.
7. Understanding the Four Levels of Connections
The way you are able to view the profiles of others depends on what kind of connection you have with them on the site; this will be shown next to their name. First-degree connections refer to people you are directly connected to and are well known to you; you can see their full profiles. Second-degree connections are connected to your first-degree connections, but not directly to you. Third-degree connections refer to more distant connections.
8. Utilizing your Networking Skills
When it comes to making connections on LinkedIn, you should begin by finding and connecting with people you know, such as friends, classmates, and coworkers. You should aim to have at least 50 connections to really establish yourself on the site, and send a personalized message to a person each time you invite them to your network. Do NOT ask for a job or internship in this way.
9. Searching for Jobs and Internships
To obtain the most relevant results through your search, use the advanced search tool when looking for job postings. Search by keyword, company, location, experience level, or anything else that is relevant or important to you. After you conduct searches, you are able to create a "saved search", which will then give you updates through email either daily, weekly, or monthly so that you may be kept up to date on your interests.
10. Researching Companies
When you follow a company on the site, you will receive updates from them on your home page. Under the Jobs tab, you can see what career opportunities the company is offering, as well as employee reviews. If you have first-degree connections that are attached to the company, that can help you get to the next level.
This article is also featured in the April 2021 issue of the Network News Student Magazine.