There are hundreds of articles floating around the web about how to make the most of LinkedIn. There’s one by Virgin Mobile, one by Business Insider, and even one from Dartmouth University. Here you’ll find a combination of some of their best advice.
Be clear and concise. Part of the benefit of LinkedIn is it forces you to be concise in your resume and focus on the parts of your experience that will most contribute to your future. Yeah, your summer working as a life guard taught you to be vigilante, but what does it really have to do with your future as a software engineer? That internship last spring at ITS might be way more important. Make sure that you aren’t fluffing your resume too much because you might be hiding some really great stuff that your employer might overlook.
Writing a summary is a great place to introduce yourself, and a great opportunity to talk yourself up while still being professional. Include keywords that future employers in your field might be looking for. This also enhances your search engine optimization (SEO) making your profile easier to find on search engines like Google. While you’re at it, customize your URL. Your name is a lot easier to remember than a string of numbers and letters.
Have a great headshot, but don’t go looking for Tyra to give you tips. Think of this as a digital first impression. A great headshot on LinkedIn is a professional picture that is clear, contains only you, and is appropriate for the industry you are looking to enter. A business field might be looking for a suit and tie while a Karate Master might not.
List your skills. Speaking of a digital first impression, listing your skills is vital on LinkedIn. This tells employers what you can do, which could make you a better candidate than someone who doesn’t have skills listed. For some fields it might be useful to include media like videos of yourself in action. Teachers might find a video of them teaching a lesson could help boost their profile.
Be choosy about connections. The phrase “The more the merrier” might not always apply here. While having a lot of connections is a good thing, that only applies if they are good connections. Every once in a while you should go through your connections and get rid of bad ones. A bad review from an angry ex-coworker might hurt you more than you know. Old connections can hold you back too, but don’t forget that sometimes any connection that gets you in the door for an interview can be helpful.
Finally, be active! Share articles, write your own if you can, join groups, endorse connections, use the job listings tool, and update! The more active you are on LinkedIn, the more your name pops up places. So, keep posting my friends, and good luck!