I recently provided a non-mandatory request to a college class I lecture requesting they share their LinkedIn profiles with me so we can build upon them throughout the semester and after reviewing their profiles, I came up with the following.
I feel, the advice is worth sharing with whoever may need it so here is an exact copy of the letter:
Good afternoon class,
I hope your weekend is treating you well!
I looked over your LinkedIn profiles and it's evident some of you have put ample time into them and some have just started. If you're just starting, that's ok, at least you now have a profile. Your LinkedIn profiles will help you get noticed by companies and recruiters during your senior year and beyond, so I strongly suggest you invest time into them. Below are the six most valuable recommendations I have after reviewing your profiles.
Profile pictures- You all need profile pictures. Without a profile picture, no one will take your account seriously. Professional pictures or at least pictures in professional attire are a plus.
Connect to Companies- I understand your business and volunteer experience may be minimal at this point, but recruiters understand this too. With that said, link your work and volunteer experience to the companies account. This will help with searches and it aids in professionalism.
Featured Skills and Endorsements- This one helps guide recruiters when determining if what you are saying is true when they are done reading you humble-brag about yourself. Knowing this, help your classmates out and endorse each other in skills you have seen them display. Remember, if a peer gets a job, they can put in a good word for you down the road. All of life is networking, social networking online helps, but in-person networking is essential.
Showcase passion for your field- It's a tough market out there right now, i'm not going to lie to you. That means companies can be pickier when choosing new recruits. This means they are not going to waste time with individuals who are not showing passion towards their field and what they do. Employers desire motivated people in their field, not someone who wants to gain a little experience and move on. Prove to them you are passionate about what you do and who you work for so they notice you. I find the best way to do this is sharing photos with captions of conferences, lectures, meeting, or any other event that is beyond your daily routine and shows you are willing to invest time in growing your career.
Paint a picture- When describing what your job entails, don't list boring bullets, rather paint a picture of what you bring to the table. Provide a brief snapshot of what you do for your organization. Recruiters already know your position's task and duties, paint them a picture of how you do it best!
Internships and mentorships- Companies obviously look at where you went to school, but they also look at your internships and mentorships. Veteran leaders understand that new leaders need experience working with a mentor from their field to learn the ropes. Share all of your internship and mentorship experience on LinkedIn and find a great mentor. I still have a barrage of mentors I meet with for different aspects of my profession. You can never learn enough from those who have been there before you.
I would say those are my top six LinkedIn tips. With that said, they are my opinion, I am not a professor of LinkedIn studies. But I have helped countless people start their professional careers and these tips seem to be beneficial. I hope this advise helps, and I urge you all to take my advice into considerations and make any necessary changes to your profile. Feel free to DM me on LinkedIn after you have made changes. Remember, I am not grading this assignment and it is not mandatory, I just want to see you prepared for the real world.