FeaturesSpecialist offers professional tips for LinkedIn

Specialist offers professional tips for LinkedIn

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Linkedin-LogoAs college students and recent graduates venture out into the world and work toward careers in their desired fields, the one thing most are wondering is how to land that dream job.

Forbes reported recruiters and employers search for applicants on LinkedIn and judge whether to contact them based on their profiles. The article referred to LinkedIn as ground zero for people beginning the job search.

LinkedIn is a tool students can use to interact with potential employers and view job openings. The problem with this professional social media site is that many may not know how to use it correctly.

According to the LinkedIn website, over 39 million college students and recent graduates have a LinkedIn profile. The key is making one’s profile stand out in a sea of prospective employees.

Olivia Ann Hurst, social media specialist for the Office of University Communications, said acting appropriately online is critical for job opportunities, as one’s social media presence is part of his or her resume. She encourages students to present a well-rounded, realistic view of themselves, as that is what employers are searching for.

“(Employers) want to see good references and solid communication skills,” Hurst said. “When employers review your social accounts, they want to make sure that your accounts support your professional qualifications, and they’re looking for a positive impression of your profiles – they want someone who will be a good
organizational fit.”

Hurst compiled a list of do’s and don’ts for putting together a professional, attention-grabbing LinkedIn profile.

Do:

Always double-check spelling and grammar, and thoroughly review your profile. Nothing will make an employer click away from a profile faster than seeing misspelled words or bad grammar.

One should review and look over everything carefully before posting. Business Insider said it is also smart to use the top line of the profile to market oneself by creating something attention grabbing.

Regularly share industry content, and follow companies and professionals in your desired field. Business Insider reported following professionals is a good way to make a LinkedIn profile irresistible to employers.

A new feature on the site allows users to follow executive trailblazers to read columns written by people like Bill Gates.

A professional headshot is a must. Business insider said a professional shot does not have to be a plain headshot. It can be interesting; just no photos in something one would not wear to work or group shots.

Don’t:

Do not leave your profile incomplete. “LinkedIn is great because it allows an employer to instantly see who you are and what you’ve done,” Hurst said. “It lets you show off your skills and accomplishments. It’s highly recommended to fill out your profile to the fullest.” 

Do not be lazy in sharing. Hurst said always add an insightful thought or question to the post when sharing the content of others. She also warns against sending invitations with default text. 

Do not ask people you don’t know to write recommendations. Recommendations should come from those who are familiar with your work and can offer a legitimate reference. Your profile will not benefit from a reference written by someone who has never spoken to you before.

Do not lie about your achievements. Eventually the truth comes out. Employers will work with you day after day and will be able to tell if you do not actually have the experience and accolades that your LinkedIn profile boasts.

Nikki Smith
Journalist, animal lover, runner, crochet extraordinaire. Follow along with me on Instagram: @_nikki_smith.
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