If you’re not on LinkedIn yet, you should be. You don’t need to wait until you have an officialï¿½job title or a clear career objective. ï¿½LinkedIn 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. ï¿½Creating a good one takes a little longer. At a minimum you should
- Make sure to include a professionally appropriate photo (doesn’t
have to be a formal headshot, but it should depict a version of yourself that’s suitable for the workplace). Using the same photo onï¿½all the social media platforms you use can make networking easier.
- Give yourself a compelling headline and description. ï¿½”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 ofï¿½workï¿½you 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. ï¿½You 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:
- 9 Ways to Boost Your LinkedIn Profile
- 5 Tips for Creating a Great LinkedIn Profile
- 31 Best LinkedIn Profile Tips