Getting LinkedIn to the Professional World

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. 


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? 

The Budgeting App You Need

While learning to budget and manage my finances, I found that MINT was the budgeting app I had been looking for! 

Mint transformed the way I budget. It made me face reality on how much I spend while enabling me to take a step back and think about where exactly I want my money to go. As a college student, it's hard to find the balance of spending and looking ahead (#loans). 

I often shift between the idea of "I'm making this money so I can spend it" to "I should save for my future so I can do incredible things later on". Admittingly, when the direct deposit hits my bank account every other Friday, a little internal celebration happens. Why not celebrate being a little richer? 

However, the fear of how much I owe settles in a little later and I'm scared to check my bank account. I have had the minimum $5 in my bank account way more than I would like to admit. Adulthood is stressful. 

Mint helped me face the facts, learn to budget, and stay on track.

At first I was hesitant to input my bank account information into the app but after reading the company's Privacy Statement, Terms and Conditions, AND talking with my bank, I know Mint is safe. 

Looking into the future as a senior, I realize the importance/need to start saving and how great it feels to have more money in my bank account. YAY!

So why do I love Mint? 

It effectively, accurately, and consistently helps me budget better. 

By creating a monthly budget, you can categorize exactly where money goes. Mint allows you to create sub-budgets, breaking down your total monthly budget into categories in order to better organize your money. 

The Budgets I like to use are: 

  • Amusement (Museums, Movies, Concerts, Parks)

  • Alcohol & Bars

  • Books & Supplies

  • Coffee Shops

  • Fast Food

  • Gas & Fuel

  • Groceries

  • Restaurants

  • Shopping

  • Other

These are the primary budgets that work for me! In D.C., I have been using "Public Transportation" rather than "Gas & Fuel". The app helps make these little changes transition smoothly! Plus, I always leave a little extra wiggle room in the "other" category for me to use (#clothes). 

Mint is the budgeting app that transformed the way I spend my money, helps me keep track of money better, and enabled me to save more while still being able to spend on what is truly important to me (delicious food!). 

The best part: You can also access Mint from either your phone or your computer, making budgeting & financial goal setting even available at any platform!