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Yes, You Should Have a LinkedIn Profile

linkedin_logo-thumb-502x155-274If you’re not on LinkedIn yet, you should be. You don’t need to wait until you have an official�job title or a clear career objective. �LinkedIn has a lot to offer college students, even those who aren’t thinking yet about their plans for after college:

  • Potential employers, mentors, contacts WILL look you up there.
  • You can learn a lot about the successful career paths of other people with skills and interests like yours.
  • It’s a great way to connect with alumni.

Creating a LinkedIn profile takes about thirty seconds. �Creating a good one takes a little longer. At a minimum you should

  • Make sure to include a professionally appropriate photo (doesn’t
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    have to be a formal headshot, but it should depict a version of yourself that’s suitable for the workplace). Using the same photo on�all the social media platforms you use can make networking easier.

  • Give yourself a compelling headline and description. �”Sophomore at the University of Illinois” can get you started, but think about ways to “headline” the particular skills you’re developing and the kind of�work�you want to position yourself for.
  • Move carefully past screens and pop-ups that invite you to “connect” by linking to your email or other social media accounts. �You can cultivate your network more effectively (and irritate fewer random acquaintances) by waiting until you have your account set up and then “Connecting” directly with relevant individuals through LinkedIn.
  • Create a shorter and identifiable version of your LinkedIn public profile URL and add it to your signature line on the email account you use for professional purposes.
  • Don’t get LinkedIn Premium–the free version will get you everything you need.

Want to do more with your LinkedIn profile? There’s a lot of advice out there. Here are some places to start: