LinkedIn is an essential for any aspiring young professional. When I began applying to internships this past summer, my professional development course required us to curate a LinkedIn as it is the modern resume. LinkedIn provides a platform for professionals to show their professional life while connecting them to like-minded individuals, employers, and organizations. Essentially, it is the Facebook for professionals.
Nearly days after making my LinkedIn I was reached out to regarding a job opportunity. Based upon my resume on LinkedIn, they believed I would be a great fit for their organization. One of the many reasons I LOVE LinkedIn is because it enables you to express yourself, your experiences, and your education in further depth and can exceed the one-page conventional standards that can inhibit you in a CV or Resume.
After re-vamping my own personal LinkedIn (which you can check out here), I had the opportunity to develop profiles for members of Congress, advancement officers, and company executives.
A successful LinkedIn has the opportunity to showcase you and serve as a catalyst for aspiring young professionals to connect to the professional world.
Over time, I have six key components to a successful LinkedIn and the best places to start marketing yourself in the professional realm.
SIX KEY COMPONENTS TO A SUCCESSFUL LINKEDIN
1. Put your best face forward
In our digital world, the image and aesthetic of web pages is a key part of self-marketing and promotion. The first thing that appears on your LinkedIn is YOU. It is important to have a professional photo that also showcases personality.
Tip: Good lightening, Solid Colors, and Plain Backgrounds make for the best photos! You don't need to go to a professional photographer to take photos. I look mine in our back yard!
2. Your online Business Card
Along with your photo, you see what I like to call your 'online business card'. It is the attention grabber. Under your name, have your most recent experiences. Don't overwhelm the card with all you've done. No more than three positions under current and three under previous. Use this space to hook them into reading more about you.
Tip: Use official language and titles. Most viewers, or potential employers, will not go past this section if you don't grab their attention with something. This is where you show you are different as clearly and quickly as you can.
3. Summarize yourself
There are various ways to utilize the Summary section, regardless of your approach- utilize it! Two of the most popular ways to summarize oneself are through personal explanation (using words such as "I") or through a third person perspective. Personally, I have utilized both routes and find pros/cons to both. At the moment, I have a personal summary of myself due to the types of jobs I am currently looking into.
4. Show your experiences (& what they mean!)
This is the heart of your LinkedIn. This is where you truly showcase your experiences and what they mean. Using the summary of your jobs is important because it provides further insight for employers and can help develop questions. Explain the summary of the position, but also leave room for exploring further into your work during the interview.
Tip: Check out how your friends at your organizations/companies have explained their position to get a better idea. You can check out mine here!
5. Strut your stuff
Fill out the skills section with personal attributes, qualities, and skills you have! Text your friends asking them to promote you and promote other connections as well. Soon, your skills will line up and showcase who you are to your employers based upon your interactions with others. In today's world of global communication and working with others, it is important for employers to understand the attributes and skills others value in you as well!
6. Get Connected
Add your Facebook friends, classmates throughout the years, and employers you have had! Get connected and watch them grow. I personally don't add everyone who sends a friend request, but look into those who want to connect with you and see how you can value them as well as how their connection values you. It is not always about how many you are connected with, but who and what they have to say about you!
Good luck on building your LinkedIn and if you have any questions, tips, or just wanna say hey, please feel free to reach out to me! What are some of your favorite professional networking tips online or in person?