(Published in The College of Westchester’s Newsletter, September 2015)
Now that many recent grads are currently looking for jobs, and many more are about to start their academic career at CW, it is important to share with them some valuable tips about LinkedIn. As you all know, many employers are only accepting applications online, and also those who come onsite to recruit – like the recent Grad Career Fair – will probably check their candidates’ social media presence. This is the perfect time to share with them this information to help set them up for a solid professional career.
1. Be Thorough: Don’t skimp on the details. Fill out your profile completely. Include all pertinent employment, internships, and volunteer jobs. Use keywords that describe your major, career goals, and interests. Focus on the value you bring to a potential employer and avoid the hard sell. Don’t be shy. Demonstrate that you have potential.
2. Look Like a Professional: Use a professional headshot if possible. Avoid using group shots or photos that include pets or significant others. View a number of profiles within your industry to see what’s acceptable.
3. Act Like a Professional: Use full sentences, proper grammar, and appropriate punctuation. That means no slang and no exclamation points. Again, look around at other profiles to get a feel for what’s acceptable. If you’re in doubt, check proper usage on a respectable grammar website. You can always stop by Careers Services for help, even if you graduate, and you are no longer enrolled at CW.
4. Be Personable: A professional presentation is important on LinkedIn, but don’t leave your personality behind. Remember, LinkedIn is a social network; creating personal connections is the goal, and it’s easier when you help people get to know you.
5. Ask For Recommendations: Recommendations add instant credibility. Ask your professors and past employers to recommend you through the LinkedIn interface. A good goal is three or more recommendations, each highlighting a different skill.