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5 Golden Rules of Student LinkedIn Profiles

Today's post is written by ECS Graduate Advisor Tara McCarron, who advises intern, co-op, and full-time employment seeking students.

The need for a professional online presence is growing as more and more employers are using social media to learn about and connect with job seekers.  LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with over 160 million members, is a valuable career resource and an excellent way for you to control your online presence. 

Creating a LinkedIn profile is similar to creating a resume; it should serve as an abbreviated auto-biography and encapsulate your motivations and accomplishments.  Creating a thoughtful and professional profile can showcase your skills and talents so the right people and opportunities find you. 

Here are 5 tips to help you create a stronger profile:

  1. Professional photo of you alone – Your image is conveyed through your profile picture.  Be sure to send the right message by choosing a photo of yourself wearing a warm and friendly expression and work appropriate clothing. 

  2. Headline with area of study and/or career ambitions – The headline of your profile is an opportunity for others to quickly understand who you are.  Highlighting your current area of study or intended career-path helps you create a personal brand.

  3. Keyword-rich summary that includes types of positions you are seeking – A good summary should provide an introduction to who you are, an overview of your skills and experiences, and your projected career path.  The addition of key words to your profile will make it easier for recruiting and hiring managers to find you with a search. 

  4. Inclusion of volunteer activities, internships, and cocurricular activities – The experience section of your profile is a great place to outline the roles and responsibilities you have had in the past.  Feel free to go into greater detail here than you did in the summary section. 

  5. Recommendations from professors, advisors, and internship/co-op supervisors – Collecting a diverse set of recommendations is way to build your credibility.  Remember to request a recommendation in a polite and professional manner and to always thank your recommenders for their time. 

For more information about using LinkedIn in your job search or creating an online profile visit: http://learn.linkedin.com/students/step-1/

Once you have created your profile, be sure to join the Ohio State Engineering Career Services LinkedIn group: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=4513020

“The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity.” -Keith Ferrazzi