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Need some easy and helpful LinkedIn tips? Not a problem, I’ve got you covered!
Okay, so you made a LinkedIn account. Maybe your academic counsellor suggested you get it for networking. Or maybe your dad thought it was a good idea. Or hey, maybe you signed up all on your own. If that’s the case, serious props (clapping emoji).
No matter how you got started on LinkedIn, it’s great to be on it because it’s super helpful, especially in the process of job hunting. LinkedIn’s a great tool for meeting new people, showing off your accomplishments, getting noticed, and scoring internships/jobs. All sounds good, right?
But where to start? Because let’s be real: LinkedIn can be intimidating and a little overwhelming at first. But fear not! With these easy tips, you will be a LinkedIn pro in no time. So, let’s get into it. Here’s your guide to getting started on LinkedIn.
Linkedin tip #1: pick a photo for your profile. Fun fact: profiles that have a picture are 14 times more likely to be clicked on. So it’s a pretty good idea to have one.
Not just any photo will work though. Make sure it’s professional and leaves a good first impression. So sorry, but that one selfie you took in the bathroom at that party won’t cut it.
If you don’t feel like you have any good photos for this, keep your ears out. School clubs and organizations will offer free headshot events. If not though, you can always ask a friend to help you snap some pictures or get something professionally done.
This is what people see first. So make it count. You can put a few things down here. Most people write their current job title or education. If you go this route, try to explain why you do what you do (or study what you study).
There are other options too. If you’re job hunting and open to jobs in a certain industry, you can write that down. You can also talk about how what you do helps people (i.e. doing x to help people with y). This is also a great place to show your elevator pitch or let people know how you can help them. Here are some examples to get you started:
And here’s mine:
While the LinkedIn tips so far in this guide may seem pretty obvious, here’s a secret tip you probably didn’t know about: you can customize your URL on LinkedIn. When you first create a LinkedIn account, you’re given a URL which is usually just your name scrambled with a bunch of numbers and letters. Like this: …/anika-inthout-JM2-60ZP298
To make your URL look a little nicer, you can customize it to just include your name (…/anikainthout) which will look a whole lot nicer on resumes and anywhere else you want to put it.
Customizing your URL is quite easy. Go to your profile page and in the top right corner, there’s an option to “edit public profile & URL.” When you click on that link, it takes you to a page where on the right side of the page, it says “edit your custom URL” with your current URL link. Click on that and edit it.
If somebody already has your name as a URL on LinkedIn, don’t stress. You could add a middle name initial, your job, your education or your country.
Who are you? What are you passionate about? Why do you want to get into a certain industry? Here’s your chance to talk about yourself. If you’re not sure where to start, it’s a good idea to take a look at your profile statement from your resume.
When writing your summary, check out summaries from other people in your field. How you write your summary for a career in software engineering is probably pretty different than writing for a career in advertising or film.
If you can, write it in the first person and keep it short and sweet. Even though you get 2600 characters, chances are, people will just briefly glance at it, so they probably won’t take the time to read massive blocks of text.
Where do/did you go to school? Add it to your profile. When you’re searching for your school’s name, make sure you click on your school on the dropdown menu because a school logo boosts credibility.
While you can just add your school’s name, your degree and the years you attended, there are a few other cool features too. You can include your grades, any activities or societies you were part of and a description textbox where you can talk about any other things worth mentioning (i.e. courses you took, publications you wrote for, etc.). Here’s mine:
What experience do you have up to this point? Like with a resume, add your past roles to the experience section on your profile. Even if you’re jobs to date aren’t exactly related to what you want to go into (i.e. you want to go into marketing but you have only waited tables), you can still frame them in a way that can make you stand out.
Whether you interned at a fancy law firm or washed dishes, try to phrase every task in your past positions as a CAR statement:
Here’s an example of one of mine for my role as a copywriter at Apricotton: Assisted in the management of the company’s blog and produced 40+ original blog posts, contributing to a 1,212% increase in blog landing pages and 40k website visitors.
Any skills to pay the bills? Are you a boss at Photoshop? Do you know any coding languages like HTML or Python? Are you an awesome writer? Add all your skills to your LinkedIn profile! Because the secret is, the more skills you add, the better your chances are you will come up as a top match for different positions. So try to add as many as you can. Also, once you make a few connections, you can ask people you have worked with to endorse your skills. This can boost your credibility. Here are just a few of my skills:
After doing all of that, there are a few other things you can add to your LinkedIn profile. These things aren’t as necessary as the rest of the stuff on this list, but they are fun little extras that can make your profile stand out more.
Like did you write for your school newspaper? Add your articles to the publications section. Can you speak multiple languages? Add them to the languages section. Have you won any awards? Make sure to add those too. This is the place where it’s actually okay to brag about yourself, so brag away!
At this point, you have a photo, a headline, a customized URL, a summary, education, experience and maybe a few little extras. Now you’re ready to start connecting! It can be intimidating at first, so start by reaching out to people you know and go from there.
When first starting out on LinkedIn, it can feel stressful and overwhelming. But with these helpful LinkedIn tips, you can create an awesome profile that gets you noticed and makes the job hunting journey a little easier.
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