We’re all hustling to get relevant experience, but there is still more we can strive to do to make our dream job (or simply the dream of getting a job) a reality. LinkedIn is a great way to get your résumé online during job hunting season. Setting up a profile or adding to one you already have is the surefire plan to go way, way, way up.
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Whether you’re graduating this year (congrats!) or keen on stepping into the industry, here are four simple things you should do to improve your LinkedIn profile to help your profile cut through the clutter and land before the eyeballs of interested employers.
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It’s super important to have a high quality profile pic. Remember this is essentially a résumé, so save that overly filtered and crazy poses for your Tinder profile. Depending on which industry you plan to break into, what you wear matters. If you’re pursuing a creative field such as fashion or graphic design, you can play with your wardrobe such as wearing patterns. But, if you’re all about anything like business or professional communications, keep it business casual with a blazer. Colors such as red, blue, and green really pop in photos.
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Go for one that is cropped from head to just below the shoulders. Also, do not wear sunglasses and remember to smile naturally. A smile goes a long way because it looks more inviting and positive. This is the first impression people will get when they go on your profile. So, make sure the photo is taken with a DSLR and during the daytime with no distracting background.
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This is the ideal space to tell employers about yourself in a few sentences. You can link to your website, blog, or Twitter (if it’s work friendly). Summarize your greatest hits such as your year, program, any clubs/organizations you’re in, and your current job.
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Talking to complete strangers online may seem daunting as it is in real life. The more you do it, the less scary it becomes. Networking on LinkedIn is how you gain more connections and prove how professional you are. Whenever you want to “connect” with someone, don’t just send the generic, pre-programmed message. Write something personal. For example, if you met this person at an event, say you remember speaking with them and you want to learn more. Keep your messages short and friendly.
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If you don’t have relevant experience in the field you want to pursue, don’t sweat it! Add in what you’ve done whether that’s a summer camp leader, retail, or volunteering the paper route. Another great tip is to include your coursework that you’ve completed so far in your undergraduate degree. Be sure to write a little background of what each job entailed and the skills you’ve learned such as team work, time management, and/or multitasking.
Everyone should have a LinkedIn profile because it will lead you to more opportunities, network easily, and get your name out there. So what are you waiting for? Get started on making a #RAD profile!