Make the most of your LinkedIn Profile

There are many things that I wish someone would have told me about while I was in college. Most of them regard personal finance, but mostly, I wish I knew how to successfully build my LinkedIn profile before I graduated. Like most students I focused my attention on attending job fairs, re-writing 3 million versions of my resume, visiting the career center, etc. But all of those are finite resources. You get lost in the shuffle of resumes at job fairs, your resume will never be a “pleasure read” for recruiters, and the student career center tends to disappear with your student title.

A LinkedIn profile, however, is a living resume that is accessible to recruiters 24/7. Even better than just being a resume, it is a more complete representation of who you are and why you would be a good fit for the job. If that does not sound convincing enough, here are some stats:

Even if you were not a believer, I am sure those numbers are at least making you consider doing a bit of work to improve your LinkedIn profile. So here are some things you can do to help recruiters find your profile and convince them to offer you an interview.

1. Add a professional photo

LinkedIn profiles with pictures get 14x more views than ones without. Equally important, your picture will allow the recruiter to put a face with the name. Since this is their first impression of you make sure you are professionally dressed, facing forward, and alone in the photo. If you are in a fraternity, you have at least 4 photos from your composites that you can use. For sororities, if you have another composite coming up, make sure to ask your photographer ahead of time if they can take one photo without the drape for your LinkedIn profile. Even better, if GreekYearbook does your sorority composite, let us know before the next shoot and we will make sure to snag one for you.

2. Fill out your profile

Unlike your resume, your LinkedIn profile tells a much more complete story. Attach any papers you have published, show any of your volunteering experience, describe your extracurricular activities. Recruiters are often looking for a skill and a personality fit, so don’t be afraid to show yours ( but please be tasteful).

3. Use Bullet Points

Instead of writing a long (boring) job description, describe your role and skills in clear bullet points. Not only is this easier to read, but it helps you use repeating phrases that will make it easier for recruiters to find you. The keywords in your profile trigger search results, so make sure you think of the job you want to do and include keywords describing that job in your profile.

4. Collect Endorsements

Endorsements boost the visibility of your profile and you will never be surrounded by more people who are happy to endorse you. Your teacher’s, sorority/fraternity advisers, volunteering contacts, coaches, etc. You will have to ask for recommendations anyway, so make sure you get some for your profile as well!

5. Grow Your Network

Again, you will never be surrounded by so many people who are happy to help out. All of your fellow students will be going out into the world and growing their networks. As their networks grow, yours will as well. I am sure you have heard the phrase, it’s not what you know, but who you know, so make sure you stay connected to people who may be able to help you get the interview in the future.

These are just some basic ways of making sure that LinkedIn works for you. Starting your career is hard enough, make sure you leverage LinkedIn to cast a big net and get your face and resume in front of as many recruiters as possible.

Happy Hunting!

Jay Skopljak