LinkedIn has become the world’s best personal branding tool, so it is essential to build a professional profile that represents you well. As you near graduation, you will notice that your experience has piled up, making you a great candidate for your field of interest. LinkedIn advertises you as a professional applicant and gives you the chance to introduce yourself to the business world. In order to stand out, make sure to update your LinkedIn profile by thoroughly completing all of the sections below.
Professional Profile Image
One of the ways you can portray yourself in a positive light is the photograph you choose as your LinkedIn profile image. Though this might seem a little surface level, your profile image will be your first impression in the online business world. Good photographs entail a high-resolution image, professional attire and a bright smile. In other words, not a cropped image from when you were out last weekend. By obtaining an appropriate profile image, it will enhance the value of your LinkedIn profile and attract more visitors.
Another important aspect of your LinkedIn profile is your headline. A headline will outline the essence of your professional experience as a whole. If an employer is not impressed with your headline, he or she most likely will not scroll further down your profile to learn about other impressive traits you might have to offer. That being said, ensure your headline is no more than 10 words. Additionally, make sure to add target keywords in case employers are searching for your skill set specifically.
The summary on your LinkedIn profile should highlight your goals and interests, while also giving you the perfect opportunity to expand on your experience and achievements. The summary section also gives you the chance to explain how you were introduced to the industry and why you decided to make a career from it—remember to add keywords so you’ll be found in searches. Additionally, it is recommended to show some personality in your summary as well. This will give employers a head start in getting to know you!
In your experience section, make sure you are precise in your past experiences. Provide detailed descriptions of each position, while always making an effort to focus on achievements and advancements. As you know, experience is one of the most important aspects of a candidate’s resume. Ensure you are including all worthy experiences that will present you as a good candidate.
In regards to the skills section, ensure you are highlighting what you have learned from your college classes or internship experience—include keywords and phrases that pertain to your field of interest. On the plus side, if you add skills to your LinkedIn profile, your connections can endorse you for them. The more endorsements you have, the more established you will appear to employers.
In the education section, make sure to add your college background and other higher education experience you might have—including study abroad or enrollment in a different institution. This would be a good place to put your minors, scholarships and other involvement on campus. Though your courses have their own designated section on LinkedIn, it is important to fill that portion with classes you have completed. This will show employers that you have college experience in specific areas they might be searching for.
LinkedIn allows members to connect and bring further success to their professional lives. As you obtain internships, land leadership roles and develop other valuable experience, you need a place to broadcast your success to employers. Utilize your LinkedIn profile to the best of your ability to ensure you are presenting yourself as a worthy candidate.