How to Use LinkedIn Like a Pro

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LinkedIn isn’t just a social media platform—it’s a networking tool and an engaging online resume with true persuasive power. Creating and actively using LinkedIn is an essential aspect of your professional job search; but like most things, you need to properly focus and be intentional to get noticed. Let’s get started.

Take a headshot

Don’t already have a professional headshot? Grab your interview outfit, plain background and a friend (no selfies allowed) to snap a few photos from the shoulders up. Voila! You’re now 14 times more likely to get profile views!

Write a straightforward headline

Many professionals use the headline to simply state their profession—but since you’re still working on that, use this space to describe the role you’d like to have. Move past the simple headline of student at (college/university name).

Set yourself apart in the summary

Leverage this professional biography space to get a little personal, crafting a memorable story that resonates with recruiters in your desired field. Write about your passions. When did it start, and why? What do you hope to do in your field? Use your experience and education to support this narrative, which should be limited to around three paragraphs or less.

Add immersive content to your experience and education sections

Do you have an internship/course presentation, project or assignment that you are particularly proud of? Does it represent your capabilities and future goals in your specified field? If you answered yes to both—go ahead and upload this content to support your profile! Photos, videos, written pieces, links, etc. are all acceptable (just don’t go overboard). Otherwise, your education and experience sections can pretty closely follow your resume. You can also use your resume information for the volunteer and awards section. Can’t fit all your experiences on your resume? Employers can scroll past experiences that are relevant to them, so feel free to list your previous work and collegiate experience. Choose your skills wisely LinkedIn allows its users to list up to 50 skills—but it’s more realistic and honest to start small. Choose around five to 10 skills that you are confident speaking to and demonstrating in an interview. Once you start making connections, your classmates and colleagues can endorse these profile skills.

Check in creatively

It’s obviously important to convey yourself professionally on LinkedIn, but you still want to be you. This is a good point to audit your profile so far—and loosen up if you can! Can you inject more personal flair in your summary copy? Did you remember to add unique project material? In the experience section, did you describe your duties as accomplishments? Go back and ensure these areas are not just informative, but personalized.

Claim your URL

LinkedIn will assign you a random URL upon account creation. Go to ‘edit profile’ and click ‘add custom URL’ to personalize for easy publication. Place this custom URL on your resume for a cohesive brand.

Let recruiters know you’re job searching

Make sure you’ve got the ‘Open to Job Opportunities’ toggle set to ‘yes’ in your profile settings, privately signaling to recruiters that you’re job searching. Once enacted, LinkedIn will prompt you to specify information about the job type you’re seeking and populate your profile in matching recruiter searches.

Leverage your profile

You’ve created a standout profile, now put it to work. Set aside time each day to make new connections (and get to know them!), engage with content, research prospective employers, ask for recommendations, search current openings in your field and always update your profile with new information as applicable.
Chart Your Course
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Additional Career Resources

How to Dress for Success

How to Prepare for an Interview

You Received a Job Offer … Now What?

Questions to Ask During Job Interviews

After an Interview: Follow Up Best Practices

Conquering Job Applications

Crafting a Standout Cover Letter

Six Things You Should Do Before Starting Your Job Search

Writing Your Best Resume

Your Job Search: Strategies for Success

Developing Your Professional Network

How to Tell Your Story

How to Use LinkedIn Like a Pro

How to Conquer Career Fairs

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