Updated: Feb 19, 2020
When you think of networking and job hunting, you probably think of career fairs and interviews, handshakes and elevator pitches, but what if you found a way to do it on your own laptop or cell phone? LinkedIn is a business network that allows you to do just this. If you use LinkedIn the right way, you could find the perfect job and meet professionals you would not have the chance to meet otherwise. Rob Humphrey returned to NC State for AMA's LinkedIn Workshop to give students a series of four steps to increase their success and maximize their potential on LinkedIn. These four steps include understanding how LinkedIn works, telling your story, building your empire, and publishing.
Understand How LinkedIn Works
You may have questioned how much LinkedIn will truly help you in your professional life. Before you begin to develop your profile, you must understand the power of LinkedIn and how important it is to utilize its features. It is impossible to ignore the power of LinkedIn. There are 645 million users, 30 million companies, and 90,000 schools on the networking site. 98% of recruiters use the platform to hire employees, and a user is hired every 10 seconds through LinkedIn. With all of the professionals to network with, it is important to create a strong profile to reach as many of them as possible. All-star profiles that are complete and well-composed are 40 times more likely to receive recognition than a less satisfactory profile.
Tell Your Story
Now we understand that LinkedIn is powerful, but how do we create the perfect profile? The first step is to make your profile creative and eye-catching. A unique profile photo, an interesting headline, memorable hashtags, and a custom LinkedIn banner can help you stand out from other users. There are many other important components to a LinkedIn profile that can make it not only impressive, but also personal. First, include your education. Instead of simply listing your school or major, include your honors, activities, and student leadership positions. Work and volunteer experience are a must for an effective profile. Writing descriptions and uploading pictures of internships and jobs, rather than writing a bulleted list of your past jobs, can increase your chances of being messaged. Along with experience and education, incorporating your acquired skills that are relevant to your future career will be appealing to professionals viewing your profile. You can look up important skills or ask your professors for recommendations to create an impressive list. A strong summary can make or break your profile. Your summary is the opportunity for you to show your personality, describe your accomplishments, and make your goals known. Your summary should be well-written and less than 100 words. Asking a friend with impressive writing skills to help can strengthen your summary immensely.
Build Your Empire
Creating an interesting profile is not the only key to success on LinkedIn. Maximizing your connections with other users will help you find jobs and improve your professional status. LinkedIn provides access to an incredible number of other professionals, many more than you could meet in person, and taking advantage of this can help you go far. Through LinkedIn, you can establish acquaintance level ties, in which you meet people through others to get help and advice from various professionals. By creating a board of advisors, including people that you trust and people that have experience in your field of interest, you can gain advice and friends who will speak highly of you to other professionals. To boost your networking potential, follow companies, influencers, and hashtags that you are interested in. Joining groups, setting your search preferences, and finding alums are other strategic ways to build your network and increase your likelihood of being recruited.
Publish on LinkedIn
If you have ever thought about business publishing, LinkedIn is the best place to do so. LinkedIn is the number one platform for business publishing, allowing you to share articles or quotes from others or create your own content. By reading articles from others, you can stay updated on what is going on in the business world and develop new vocabulary. By writing your own articles and updates, you can share your own opinions and interests to make your feed original.
Whether you are an experienced professional or new to the business world, LinkedIn can help you find the right job and people for you. With a perfect profile and the right tips and tricks you can find success on LinkedIn.