LinkedIn has become a powerful networking platform for professional job seekers. As you enter your junior and senior years at college, you need to seriously start concentrating on building your resume in preparation for entering the career world. In today’s extremely competitive job market, stating on your resume that you completed college just doesn’t cut it anymore. You need to have some sort of professional experience in your hands. The blog post “Getting Your Career Started” touches this topic. However, since LinkedIn is so important, let’s dive deeper into this subject.
In America, resumes do not have photo requirements in an attempt to avoid being judged based on looks. LinkedIn kind of blows that concept out of the water. Not having a profile photo will hurt you more than help you, so you need one. However, having your college roommate snap a photo of you with your dorm wall behind you isn’t going to cut it. You need a professional looking photo. Good news though, you don’t have to shell out big bucks for a nice photo. You’re a college student. There is probably a photography club somewhere. Offer a few bucks in exchange for someone to take your photo and Photoshop it to make it look professional. However do not let the person Photoshop you to perfection. You want the hiring manager, who probably looked up your LinkedIn profile, to recognize you when you interview. Also, no matter what career you are going into, for your profile photo wear a nice crisp blouse, and possibly a suit jacket.
Spend Time Formatting
When you upload your profile photo and your resume, spend a lot of time getting the formatting right. Before you make your profile public, you have a link to click on to see what the public version will look like. Make sure your profile photo is centered. Make sure there are no weird spaces, gaps, or bullet points. Clean everything up to perfection. This might take a while, but it’s a great investment of your time.
Get Your Network Numbers Up
Once your profile is live, get your network numbers up by connecting to people you really know. Search your friends and even the friends of your parents and send out contact requests. Then seek out professors that you have had personal relationships with. If you suspect that the professor will have no idea who you are, do not send a connect request. For those that do know you, in your connect request, also ask if the professor would be willing to write a review about you. If you took the advice in the article “Make That College Job Count” and had a decent internship, also connect and ask past and current coworkers to write a review about you.
Those are the quick and easy steps for getting a great LinkedIn profile up and running.