In this age of endless social media options, it can be easy to overlook LinkedIn and all of the great things it can do for your professional career. Every article, resource, and expert on job hunting will tell you that a LinkedIn profile is vital for a quality job search, but what makes for a great profile?
Check out these five hints for a great profile!
1. It’s all in the details!
Traditionally, the longstanding advice is that you should keep your resume between one and two pages. The beauty of a LinkedIn profile is that you can include as much detail as you want. Consider including all previous job experience on your LinkedIn profile. It may not seem like your summer high school job will have any relevance in your current job hunt, but you never know what may resonate with the hiring manager. A shared past history of life-guarding at the community pool could lead to that crucial second look.
Additionally, it can sometimes be difficult to include non-work experience items on a traditional resume. Items like volunteering, student organization involvement and academic achievement can make great additions to a LinkedIn profile and provide potential companies with a richer overall view of you and your experience.
2. Proofread, proofread, proofread.
You should assume that your profile will be viewed by hiring managers along with your resume and cover letter. Be sure to proofread your profile. Consider having a second (or third!) set of eyes take a look too.
3. Extra! Extra! Read All About It!
Under the name on your profile, you have the option to include a “Headline.” A descriptive and engaging headline can catch the eyes of LinkedIn users looking for new talent. Looking for an internship or fulltime opportunity? Say so in your headline! Consider mentioning the industries you would like to work in. Your headline can be an opportunity to set yourself apart and show some personality. Check out some of these examples:
4. Show ‘em what you’ve got!
LinkedIn has several tools that allow you to share files and documents. This can be a great way to share some of your work. Consider adding your senior design poster, anything you have had published, or independent projects you have worked on. It is a great idea to bring a profile of your work to interviews and having such items readily available on your profile can be a timesaver in the future, not to mention a great opportunity to attract attention to your skills.
5. Get recognized.
LinkedIn has an awesome feature that allows people to write recommendations of you and your work right on your profile. Consider asking people you have worked with to write a brief recommendation on your profile. Professors, classmates, fellow student organization members or teammates can all provide great feedback that makes your profile an interesting read. (Note: Depending on the nature of the recommendation, MSOE faculty and staff may ask you to fill out a consent form.)
Developing and maintaining a LinkedIn profile can seem daunting at first. We have some great resources here at MSOE to help you learn how to use LinkedIn to enhance your professional image. MSOE’s Student Activities department, as well as Women’s Connections, offers one-on-one LinkedIn help, as well as regular walk-in clinics.
MSOE’s Career Services can help you with all of your career search needs from resume creation and interview skills, to salary negotiation and networking. Be sure to connect with this great campus resource!
This is part of the Women’s Connections “Five on Friday” blog series. Check back in weekly for new posts covering a wide variety of topics.