March 24, 2014

Step By Step: 10 Simple Ways To Make a Rockstar LinkedIn Page

After years of editing, re-editing, re-re-editing, and re-re-re-editing my LinkedIn page, I have listed the top 10 things to have/do when making a LinkedIn profile. This is a combination of my own personal observations and what I have been told over the years.

1. Use it- The first rule of having a good LinkedIn page is actually using your LinkedIn. So many people have an account for the sake of having one and never use it. Just because your college career counselor told you to make one, doesn't mean you just forget about it after you sign up. You should be checking constantly to see what job/internship openings have come out and just simply tweaking your profile every now and again.
2. The Perfect Picture- You may not realize it, but your profile picture is pretty important. When recruiters or future employers look you up, it will be the first thing they see. Your LinkedIn is NOT your Facebook. That bikini picture you took in Cabo with your girlfriends will not work when you're trying to apply for an entry level job. If you're in college, find a student photographer on campus to take some headshots for you to post on your page. Or just simply have a friend take a nice picture of you (please, no cell phone selfies). Remember that first impressions are everything, so choose the photo that you feel shows your personality best.
3. Go Ahead and Creep- You creep on Facebook, so why aren't you creeping on LinkedIn? Creeping is totally allowed when checking out a LinkedIn page. If LinkedIn didn't want people to creep then they wouldn't have the option of seeing who has viewed your page. So why not take advantage and see what your peers and colleagues are doing? If you find yourself stuck and not knowing how to format your page, then check out the profiles of people who have the jobs that you want and see how they styled their page. Using someone else's page as a template for yours can be very helpful.
4.  You're All That- You shouldn't hold back when it comes to talking about your multiple achievements. When filling out your LinkedIn page, you should make yourself look like the coolest person on the planet. Even if your only credentials are dog walking and babysitting, make it sound like you were the best dog walker and babysitter the world has ever seen. It's all about selling yourself and really highlighting your skills. Don't be afraid to make yourself look really cool.
5. Recommend Me- Do not be afraid to ask your boss or advisor to write a recommendation on your page after an internship/job ends. Not only does it look good on your page, but it's someone confirming that you are awesome and capable of functioning in a work setting.
6. Follow, Follow, Follow- Take a moment and follow groups and organizations which pertain to your interests and goals. If you are a journalism major and want to work for the NY Times, then you should be following the NY Times on Linkedin. If you want to go into PR then you should be following PR companies on LinkedIn. This will give you up-to-date news on the company and it shows that you are interested in that field.
7.  Fill It All Out- Even if you don't think anyone will care, go ahead and fill out as many sections as you can. If you are taking classes that apply to the field you're going into, then list them all. If you volunteered at an animal shelter for years, then put that down too. The point of a LinkedIn is for people to get to know YOU and what you have achieved so far. Don't cut yourself short.
8. Grow Your Empire- The one question I always hear is "Who do I add on my LinkedIn?" The answer is: family, friends, teachers, professors, old bosses, current bosses, your neighbor, your neighbor's dog, etc. Anyone who you have had some kind of interaction with should be in your network. As your network builds, you will find more and more people you know that can become connections. Soon you will have your own Rolodex of connections which will make your page look more professional. However, try to be more discriminating about the people you add to your network. I rather have 200 connections of people I do know, than 500+ connections of people I don't.
9. So Fresh And So Clean, Clean- Your profile should be neat and easy on the eyes. Make sure you have formatted everything correctly and use bullet points for listing things. Showcase your work (i.e. PowerPoint, presentations, portfolios) to make your profile pop and look super fabulous.
10. Utilize and Network- All of these tips won't do you any good unless you utilize LinkedIn and use it as a networking tool. That means reaching out to career groups on discussion boards and using your contacts to introduce you to their contacts. Whatever your goals may be, you must find a way to make LinkedIn beneficial to you. Don't be afraid to be outgoing and take initiative. You never know where that next opportunity may be!

Let me know your bests LinkedIn tricks and tips in the comments!

For more, check out FindSpark's article on how to make to network beyond LinkedIn HERE

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