As a college student, I am an avid Facebook user. I like to receive updates and see what my friends are up to. However, it isn’t a very professional platform to present myself on. Employers aren’t looking for where you’ve been, what you’ve been eating, or even photos of your recent beach trip. They want to know what you can do professionally in the working world. Hence, I have created a LinkedIn profile:
Hi! That’s me up there and that’s my new Linkedin profile! So for a similar explanation of what a LinkedIn profile is, it is a professional version of Facebook. Your profile is meant to show all and any career related information you might want to share such as: experience, skills, awards, education, and many other customizable things that you think will benefit you during your job search. Many new companies today use LinkedIn for resumes and recruiting new and potential employees. For example, I recently applied for an internship and instead of asking for a resume, they asked me to submit my LinkedIn profile link. With the way hiring processes are going, it is a smart move for you to create your own LinkedIn Profile as soon as you can!
Now, before you panic and rush your way into making your profile, let me explain to you how to use one. If you have a Facebook and a resume, you’re already almost done! All you have to do, is create and edit your profile as you would with your Facebook and fill in everything your resume has and more! Once you’ve completed your profile, you are ready to use it to help you network and search for potential careers. You can use it in replace of a resume, like me, by sending your profile link to those hiring managers and employers. On top of having a sweet, new, online resume, you now have a social networking platform to connect with other people! LinkedIn helps you connect with job recruiters and even people you would like to know on a more professional level. LinkedIn has made its way to the top for recruiters to find new employees. So you never know when a recruiter has looked at your profile and decided that you might be there next new employee, so your profile better be in tip top shape!
What would you consider tip top shape? In order to consider your profile to be effective, you must know how to market yourself. Sell! Sell! Sell! Sell yourself in a good way and make yourself desirable for potential employers. How? Well LinkedIn makes it incredibly easy to connect with others. “LinkedIn makes it easy to search for other LinkedIn members who share your interests, for example, the company your work for (or worked for), as well as the people you went to school with” (BUTOW). By connecting with any one of those people, you’ll be open up to connect with the people that they know! Eventually your pool of eligible connections will grow. LinkedIn also helps companies seek employees that fit within their criteria. So it is always good to keep your profiled updated. But a huge way to market yourself is through connections and networking.
How do you network on LinkedIn? Well it is just like adding friends on Facebook, but instead it’s called connections. Once you create a connection with someone, their connections will be available to you as well. Your connections will also have an effect on your profile as they will be able to give “points” to your skills and make you more appealing to employers. It is always important to branch out and network because you will never know who you might meet!
So, get started and make your LinkedIn profile! As a new LinkedIn user, I believe that it has become an extremely useful and necessary social networking tool to have. Every college student, every person searching for a job, for an employee, should learn how to properly use LinkedIn. Especially since we are heading towards a paperless type of environment in the workplace, it is only due time until resumes become obsolete and it becomes all about your LinkedIn Profile!
Butow, E., & Taylor, K. (2009). How to succeed in business using LinkedIn making connections and capturing opportunities on the web’s #1 business networking site. New York: AMACOM ;.
Fitzpatrick, E. (2012, November 15). Social Media for Garden Businesses: LinkedIn and Networking. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
Viveka. (2013, April 29). LinkedIn’s New Contacts Feature. Retrieved October 19, 2014.