In the third installment of the “Life After College” webinar series, Ray Kotcher, Fellow PRSA, senior partner and chairman at Ketchum, facilitated a conversation with Ron Culp, Fellow PRSA, professional director of DePaul University’s public relations and advertising graduate program. The conversation centered on how to build a strong LinkedIn profile to complement your resume when you begin the job and/or internship search. Below are some tips and takeaways.
Tips for LinkedIn:
- LinkedIn profiles need to be appealing to the eye.
- Duplicates of resumes are basic level profiles.
- Add a personal statement to LinkedIn and show more professionalism and creativity but avoid including one on your resume where it eats up valuable space.
- Update your profile frequently to keep it fresh.
- Always send a personal note when connecting with professionals.
Culp and Kotcher also offered a variety of tips on how to stand out from crowd when applying for jobs and internships. These tips covered topics such as important skills to learn and life-long learning. The power of networking also naturally emerged as a topic of conversation because LinkedIn is a digital network of professionals.
Top skills for students to master:
- Become a good writer.
- Become business savvy and educate yourself on the business essentials.
- Become well read (read about the industry, business, current events or other interests).
Advice for continuous learning:
- Pick a brand that you are currently interested in and follow everything about that brand. Read their blog, engage with their social media accounts and even read their financial records.
- Invest money in accounts: Tastytrade, Dough and Mint. They are informative and will send you comprehensive materials for your personal learning.
- Watch “Sharktank,” “PROFIT” and relevant business television.
- Read business and educational books.
- Find a mentor.
- Create a networking goal such as increasing your network by 100 new contacts before graduation or reaching the 500+ mark of connections on LinkedIn.
- Listen when you talk to and interact with people.
- Join and engage with different groups. For example, join PRSSA and hold a leadership role.
- Find volunteer opportunities in your community to meet people outside of the public relations industry.
Emma Finkbeiner is the PRSSA 2016–2017 National President. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in public relations and advertising at DePaul University in Chicago. She works for the DePaul Office of Community and Government Relations. When she isn’t working or commuting on the red line, she is often walking her pit bull puppy Addison or watching the Chicago Cubs.
Jon Kovach Jr. is the PRSSA 2016–2017 vice president of member services. He is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in public relations and business minor at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. He works for Coldwell Banker Commercial Advisors as a public relations assistant and focuses on public affairs, government and community relations and economic development. Kovach lives a life mixed with business and adventure and he is often found exploring any of the U.S. National Parks. Follow Jon on Twitter at @jon_kovachjr.