INTRODUCTION – CREATE A LINKEDIN.COM ACCOUNT
I can’t stress enough how big this is. As freshmen and even through senior year, most kids just think that LinkedIn is a waste of time and not that many people are on there. Or, that they’ll get their job through applying through school career services, and LinkedIn really serves no purpose.
Not the case. Having recently graduated, and having myself and my classmates all looking for a job around the same time. Here’s a big key to the process. First off, employers once they find your resume, are like 75-90% of the time going to go look up your Facebook, but first they are going to look up your LinkedIn. How do I know this? Because, it shows you on LinkedIn when someone views your profile and who it was. I’ve had tons of recruiters visit my LinkedIn page for jobs I’ve applied for soon after. You also will need online resume service while looking for a job.
Now, that’s not the only reason LinkedIn is a great tool. But the important thing, is that you set up your account as early as possible. Do it as a freshman, or my smarter higher class friends started theirs in high school even. The reason it’s important to set it up early, is because on your LinkedIn your going to have connections, and it isn’t easy to get a whole lot of them. Having more than 200+ looks good to employers, because it shows that you are engaged in the business social networking world. So, all those classmates or friends that you make when your a freshman that you may not see or group members that you may not work with again, you want to add them all to your LinkedIn as you go along. Building your list with people, so that when you graduate and start applying, you have a big list of connections built up.
You’ll also find a ton more working a job. If you get an internship, trust me your boss’s, coworkers, and people you do business with will be on there. And you need to add those people before your connection is lost. This also provides you with a long term connection, in case you want to go back maybe ask someone for a referral.
KEY’S TO UTILIZING LINKEDIN
A great thing about having lots of connections especially with people in your classes, is that when they graduate or throughout their school career they will add their internships and their jobs to their profiles. So, you can find a long list of companies to apply for, just by looking through your classmates who are studying the same field as you. Plus, you already know those companies are hiring kids just like you, so they are great leads for jobs.
This is probably the single best job search engine, besides your university career services. Companies will all post vacancies on LinkedIn and theirs an easy job search feature to go through and apply.
HOW TO SET UP YOUR PROFILE QUICKLY – AND MAKE IT PROFESSIONAL AND APPEALING.
Start with your profile picture. Don’t use a picture of you and your buddies, or you holding up a fish or some social media typical Facebook picture. You want to use a professional business type photo here, like you in a suit or business attire. Lots of people use their graduation pictures once they graduate which is good. Even better, is going and having professional business photos done as business shots. If you don’t want to pay for that, just get a friend that’s into photography, set up a quick professional background and take a few head shots. Just choose a picture that looks professional.
Background Image – Make a custom background so that your profile looks nice and stands out, this only takes a few minutes.
- Go to Picmonkey.com and click on the collage button. Have one image ready to get you started.
- Set the dimensions for width 1400 and height 425. The easiest collage is to go to FB Cover, and then edit the width and height
- Choose the college 1 of 4 you like best, and put some pics into it related to your field. Be a little creative, it’s not hard.
- Save the collage, and upload it to your LinkedIn.
Summary – If you’re a strong writer who can sound professional. Write your own short summary. If not, go on fiverr.com create an account it’s quick and easy. Search for LinkedIn summary. Their are tons of well respected writers who will write you a quick professional summary for $5. You just provide them with what they ask for about your background. You will also see lots of different offers on Fiverr to add connections and endorsements for you. I do not recommend doing that. It fills yours connections with crap, and it looks really bad. Just use the summary thing.
Experience – I personally recommend not adding job experience which is just fluff and doesn’t help your profile. But, it’s best to show that you have kept a job for some length of time. So don’t feel bad leaving experience out, this one is pretty self explanatory.
3 MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO ADD TO YOUR PROFILE
- Skithreells – You want to choose around 5-8, and make sure you order them in importance. A good way to select which skills you should pick are to search for some people who are prominent in the field you want to work in. See what skills they have, and put those skills. Simple. It’s important, when you add new friends to go through and endorse them for their skills, and most people will understand, and will likely go through and endorse your skills as well. If you’re just starting out, then after you add your friends, just send them a quick message and say “hey, if you could throw me some skill endorsements I’d appreciate it.” It takes people like 2 seconds. And employers love to see this in your profile that lots of people have endorsed your skills. (BTW if you want to add me, feel free, I’ll endorse your skills for you, search Matthew Linch – Assembly Engineering and Tooling)
- Volunteer Experience – This is easy, it adds content to your profile and makes you look like a good hire. You don’t need to list dates or anything, just leave that blank. Fill in the Organization name and put the location in Parenthesis, then for Role just put Volunteer for all of them. Descriptions are kind of unnecessary. Shoot for about 3 to 4 if you can. Some easy ways to get these, go volunteer for one day at habitat for humanity, and you can add that one. Go to a local animal shelter and volunteer here and there. Lastly, a shelter for homeless or a food program for homeless people. It takes a very small amount of time, you’ll feel good after doing it, and you can add it on your profile.
- Groups – This one really isn’t as important as the other two, but if your a member of any type of school organization group, put it on here. Even if you only did it for a semester. I mean not to be dishonest, but employers aren’t going to verify all this info. So, if you were a part of a group at least at some point. You can add it. This is also a good reason to go out and just find one or two groups related to your field up at school to do for a semester or two. Usually, you can get away with only going to a couple meetings.