While you’re still a student, maintaining a LinkedIn account is a great way to acquire work experience as well as generate contacts. The site allows you to connect with others, making them a part of your network. LinkedIn also allows you to create and join groups, an additional way to develop contacts by staying up to date with the latest business news and trends.
Another great aspect is the possibility of recruitment. The site offers a feature with which you can ask others to recommend you. Considering that many organizations look for potential candidates on LinkedIn, it’s crucial students get the most recommendations possible to increase their chances of getting employed and making some of that sweet stuff.
Since many people have yet to jump on the LinkedIn train, the Fulcrum has compiled a list of do’s and don’ts to help get you started and enhance your experience using the site.
• Have a profile picture. Employers want to see who they’re connecting with.
• Give a detailed description of your current workplace or subject of study. Sometimes the name of your employer isn’t enough as it gives the impression that you either don’t care or you have no idea what you do.
• Personalize requests. Tell people your motive for connecting with them. The “Join my network on LinkedIn” message will likely be ignored.
• Turn off update alerts when updating your profile. No one needs to know every time you change your display picture. It’s irrelevant.
• Make your contact list available to your connections. You know the saying, “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are?” The same concept applies to LinkedIn. That being said, make sure you have significant connections who will actually be helpful to showcase.
• Upload an unsuitable profile picture. And by unsuitable, I mean a picture of you and your dog — no matter how cute it is. Keep it professional with a neutral background.
• Let your profile stay inactive. People tend to disregard dormant profiles, so keep it fresh.
• Spam. It’s annoying and will leave a bad taste in any employer’s mouth.
• Ask people you don’t know to endorse you. Though it may seem like a great idea to reach out to the CEO of a major portrait company to be your reference for a photography job application, it makes you look desperate and will likely leave you with a lesser chance for success.
• Use LinkedIn like Facebook or Twitter. No one needs to know that you “just had Starbucks’ new maple macchiato for the third time today #addicted.” Keep it professional and relevant to work.