With great resources comes great responsibility. LinkedIn is a great way to interact with your professional contacts but if you don’t use it wisely, you are likely missing out. So what can we do as future PR professionals to ensure we are building a LinkedIn profile that will help us get the job once we walk across that graduation stage? Here are 5 things you will want your LinkedIn profile to have.
1. Make sure it’s complete and up to date.
This means you’ll need more than a professional headshot and an about section. Be sure you’ve adequately described your internship experiences, connected with those you have worked with and added your skills and volunteer roles. As college students, it is difficult but important to keep your profile up to date with the numerous internships and on-campus positions you might hold throughout your college career.
2. Make your headline pop.
Just like the lead of a news story will determine how much of the story you will read, your LinkedIn headline will likely help a recruiter decide if they want to look further into your profile. Tell the people looking at you about more than just what you do, tell them what makes you unique. You want to make them want to know more. After all, what good is your great profile if no one is reading it? Beyond that, be specific. Speak to the audience you want to hear your message and use keywords they might be looking for.
3. Keep it professional but make it personal.
Company culture is so important now more than ever. Because of this, company recruiters do not want a corporate robot. Incorporate your personality where appropriate, like the about section. Don’t refer to yourself in the third person because this will typically come across as pretentious.
4. Include a job title.
Recruiters use current positions to find potential candidates so that they are not filtering through people who might have held the position 5 or 10 years ago. This means simply having Full Time Student as your job title isn’t enough. It’s important to add in Public Relations Professional in training or something similar to ensure you end up in their pool of people.
5. Ask for recommendations
You can say as much about yourself as you want but the recommendations of others often speak much louder. When your supervisor compliments your next project, ask them to write a recommendation for your LinkedIn profile. Since you are able to approve recommendations before they go live on your profile, this request can only help you as you build your professional network.
What tips do you have to help others boost their LinkedIn profiles?
Shelly Fulks is a senior at Samford University in Birmingham, AL. She is studying public relations and print journalism. With dreams of travelling, she is excited to see where her career in public relations will take her once she graduates in May 2020. Shelly is originally from Columbia, TN.