Kate: Tips and tricks for LinkedIn newbies or veterans

LinkedIn becomes more and more important for young professionals as they continue their college careers. Whether you are a freshman or a senior, its never too early (or late) to build up a professional network through LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great place to maintain connections with previous co-workers and supervisors, keep a list of your involvement and activities, and keep a living resume online. Let’s get started with some tips and tricks!

Photo: You definitely need to have a photo, but make sure its appropriate and professional, not a photo from you out a party where you think you “look good.” Have a friend with a good camera take some head shots of you against a plain background while wearing business clothes- that’ll do the trick until you have the chance to get professional pictures taken. Make student groups in COM offer free LinkedIn head shots at events or meeting so be sure to keep an eye out for those.

URL: Make sure you change your public profile URL to something specific. LinkedIn gives you a generic link that may include your name and a bunch of numbers. Keep it short and sweet (easy to put on resumes and remember). I recommend just using your first name initial and last name.

Connections: Don’t just accept anyone and everyone. Who you connect with reflects on you as a professional person. My rule of thumb is to only connect with people who I have already worked with and who would reflect positively on me by association.

Groups/Companies: Join groups and follow companies! Don’t join a million but pick companies in your industry that you would like to work for or are interested in learning more about. Groups are great for networking with other students, BU alumni and professionals.

Resume: Upload your resume to LinkedIn. You can keep the document on your page, but you can also mimic the resume with the experience and education sections. I like to keep everything on my LinkedIn (in great detail) and then take that information to tailor resumes to jobs I’m applying for. Some people chose to keep less on their LinkedIn, and thats ok too!

Summary: Update your summary every few months to reflect where you are at in your career or education. If you’re looking for a summer internship, be sure to include that. If you’re looking for a full time job post-grad, that should definitely be in your summary. Use that to show some personality and a deeper perspective into who you are as a young professional.

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