mzl.fthvfxxoEveryone I know has a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine; the list goes on. They’re necessary social platforms for the everyday college student. However, not enough of my friends have a LinkedIn. If you don’t know about LinkedIn, it is professional social networking. Basically, it is an online profile for your resume that helps get your name out to employers and your connections in order to build a digital network.

If you don’t have a LinkedIn, make one now. I can attribute many of the job interviews and internships to the interactions I’ve had on the site. For those of you who do have one, follow my LinkedIn best practices below:

  • Fill out your profile fully. A profile that is not filled out might as well not exist. No one wants to see a profile with nothing on it, that is half filled out, or has no descriptions. Think of your LinkedIn as a way to advertise yourself. You wouldn’t put out an ad that says, “John Smith wants a job because he does.” Treat your LinkedIn the same way you would an ad.
  • Don’t over-embelish yourself. It’s fine to make your jobs and skills sound important, but never put false skills, titles, or job descriptions. Employers check these things and it will come back to bite you.
  • High school was high school. College is college. If you’re in college, you’re considered and held to the standards of an adult. In high school, you were considered were not. Unless what you did in high school was super important, keep it off your LinkedIn. I’ve seen too many people who have their high school clubs, classes, and menial jobs on their profile. Keep it adult and keep it off.
  • Upload a profile picture. You have a pretty face so show it off.
  • Don’t connect with people you don’t know (well, for the most part). Think of LinkedIn as building a network of people you can reach out to in the future. You’re not going to reach out to someone you’ve never met for a job. The exceptions are connections with those who work in HR, talent recruiters, hiring managers, or people who’s job it is to seek out people to fill positions.
  • Keep yourself visibility settings visible. You want people to see you have visited their profile. Chances are if they see you visited their profile, they’ll view yours back. I use this trick all the time to make connections. I’ll view the HR Manager at an agency I would like to work at, and in turn, they view my profile back. Bing-bang-boom, they now know who I am.
  • Endorse people for skills they excel at. If you endorse people for their skills, chances are they will endorse you back for your skills. It’s common courtesy and a great way to build up your endorsements.
  • Follow brands, agencies, companies, and news outlets. Their post will show up on your news feed and keep you up to date on the industry. It also shows that you’re interested in your field of study when people view your profile and see you follow other business profiles.
  • Change your URL. When you first create your profile, you are given a pre-made URL with a bunch of random characters that look a lot like this: h7if898q. In your settings, you can create your own URL. It takes two seconds, makes it easier to share your profile, and shows you care.
  • Stay active and up-to-date. Having a LinkedIn is useless if you don’t use it. Take ten minutes a day to check it and reach out to people. The results will be worth it when you land the internship or job you want.

That’s the end of my lengthy list. As a LinkedIn Pro, I highly recommend you follow these guidelines above. It has worked for me and it will work for you too. Feel free to view my profile for ideas.

Good luck and happy job hunting!