This is the prime season to apply for internships, externships, and fellowships. With many of these special opportunities being virtual, social media are what these companies are looking at more than ever. Although there are various business platforms such as RippleMatch, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter, the leading professional networking app is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a way for you to manage and market your professional identity. I know you are thinking the initial download, sign up, and short profile should be enough to get you noticed, but here are some key steps to help boost your engagement and connections with your professional profile.
Select an appropriate profile picture. No ladies, I’m not talking about the classical selfie with the good lighting and good angle. This small image is the first thing recruiters see when selecting your profile, and your chance to make a first good impression. I want this picture to be up-to-date, and what you look like on a daily basis. By daily basis, I mean what you would look like if the candidate wanted to see you for an interview the following day. You want your face to take up at least 60% of the frame for the profile picture. Many people may not know this, but you need to be the only person in your future picture, so candidates aren’t confused as to which person you are. Your picture is a small way to show your personal brand, so you want to dress in clothes you would wear to work, as well as provide a facial expression that is likable. A classic headshot from a photographer would be ideal, but to save money you can diy your headshot at home. This would need a clear white background, good, soft lighting, a phone stand, and a clear phone camera.
Your headline should be more than a job title. Do not limit yourself to just your job title. Although your headline needs to be brief, say a little bit more about how you view your role, and why you love working there. For example if you’re a sales representative at your company, alert who is your highest social seller. For inspirational purposes, you can glance at other profile headlines that include the same interests as you.
Make your summary your story. It’s astonishing how many people leave this essential section blank in their profile. Yes, you are telling your own story, but you should tell it in a way that ties into why you love doing what you’re doing. Yes you have an ample amount of skills that make you perfect for this job title, but why do those skills matter. and why did those skills shape you to be the business professional that you are today. Personally, it took me a very long time to draft my summary, but that’s okay. Just like your resume, you need to make a few drafts and run those drafts by people you know will help format your story.
Don’t take too much advantage of buzzwords, rather take a skills assessment. I know it may seem like you’re making yourself come across as this huge networking business mogul because all of the buzzwords you’ve selected, but they’re meaningless. The terms ‘experienced’, ‘strategic’, ‘expert’, and ‘creative’ are all great qualities to have, but are these companies convinced you have them? The proper way to use these buzzwords is to demonstrate them in your profile. You can use them to describe yourself and how these words relate to you in a work setting. However, taking a skills assessment demonstrates the level of your skills and are shown on your profile. About 30% of LinkedIn users are more likely to be hired by displaying their skills assessment.
Make connections with people you know or share interests with. As a Howard student, I am constantly making connections with other Howard students to build my networking platform. To take it a step further, I make connections with people that share my major and work in the fields of my major that graduated from Howard University. If you feel as though you’re not that good at networking here’s a simpler way to connect. you can sync your profile with your email address book, which gives LinkedIn the ability to suggest people you should connect with.
Your LinkedIn profile does not have to be perfect in any way shape or form, but why not begin the necessary steps now to become an exceptional networker. Comment your LinkedIn profiles and let’s connect!
Someone who wants to be a bomb networker, BBGirl Angel🔌