As a millenial about to enter the professional working world post-graduation, I can say with certainty that LinkedIn has already played an integral role in my career. A pretty common misconception about LinkedIn is that it's only for people further along in their professional journey. College-aged professionals are missing out on a huge networking opportunity if they aren't taking advantage of LinkedIn.
Here are a few tips and tricks to turning heads and getting noticed on LinkedIn. Who knows, you may even land your dream internship or job like I did.
1. SPELL-CHECK IS STILL IN STYLE
There is no bigger red flag than a typo. Although LinkedIn would fall under the social network umbrella, it is best known and utilized for professional networking purposes. If you're looking to start your career or migrate to a new position with a bang, a typo is not the way to go. Run through your profile with a fine-tooth comb to catch anything you may have missed. And, get a second opinion on it.
2. PiCTURE PERFECT
I'm not saying a suit and tie is required, but looking your best is. A pixelated photo with another person clearly cropped out is not going to cut it. Take a few minutes to take a solid, clear photo that best represents you.
3. FULLY COMPLETE YOUR PROFILE
Not everything is going to fit on your résumé, so use LinkedIn as an opportunity to expand upon experiences that might not have made the cut. Include your résumé, samples of previous work, and recommendations from those who know you best. Recruiters will notice a profile that is only half-completed or not at all.
4. UPDATE YOUR RÉSUMÉ + SHOW IT OFF
Free resources like Canva exist and should be used. Black and white Microsoft Word résumés might have been all the rage back in 1990, but times have changed and the résumé game has been revamped. Canva offers various résumé templates full of color and unique style, making it easy to input your information and seamlessly create a résumé that will stand out among the rest. This is especially important if you're going into some sort of creative industry such as advertising or marketing.
5. DON'T FORGET A HEADLINE
The little byline under your name you think nobody pays attention to? People read it. Some even remember it. It's important not to overlook even the smallest details of your profile, and your headline is no exception. If you're looking for an internship within the advertising industry, for example, make it known by throwing it in your headline: "Driven University of Minnesota Senior seeking Advertising Internship." Easy as that.
Instead of 100 numbers at the end of your LinkedIn address, input your first and last name so it's not only easy to find, but also easy to share. A link that takes up 10 lines is not a link people are likely to click on. Short and sweet is the key here.
7. UTILIZE THE JOB FEATURE
I landed my dream internship last summer just from sifting through the jobs pages of LinkedIn. Whether you're looking for an internship next door or across the country, LinkedIn has thousands of different opportunities for all types of majors. This goes for part-time or full-time positions as well.
The bottom line? We are in the age of the internet. When you apply for a job, the first thing recruiters will do is Google you or go straight to your LinkedIn. Keeping an eye on how you are represented on the Internet is more important than ever, especially when trying to land a job. Take these tips + tricks to heart and polish your LinkedIn to be the best it can be, hopefully landing a great internship or job along the way.