News You Can Use - 6 Ways to Make LinkedIn Work for You

You created a LinkedIn account and imported a resume. now what?  We've got the answers!

We all know LinkedIn can be used to search for job and internship opportunities but it has grown into much more. Professional portfolios, research, networking and professional development are a few more functions available through LinkedIn. With over 225 million profiles and close to 150 million unique visitors to the site each month, how are you going to stand out?

Build a Professional Portfolio. Take the time to describe your skills and showcase your best work for recruiters and industry professions to see first-hand. Upload your best work, including presentations, videos, research and articles to demonstrate your expertise. It won’t go unnoticed.

Support your resume claims. Ask professors, supervisors and co-workers to endorse your skills and expertise as these claims will seem more reputable to recruiters. You can also ask for recommendations that further explain why you deserve your endorsements. Make sure to request endorsements when your work and assignments are still fresh in their minds. Don’t wait until you’re frantically searching for an internship or job.

Pay it forward. You can return the favor by endorsing classmates or co-workers. If you’re the head of a committee, club or project you can reward your hard working members with an endorsement or reference.

Get involved. Join groups and networks. A good starting point would be to join your college’s networking group. Then pick other groups in fields of interest to you and follow companies you admire. This way you’ll see new internship/job postings right away and it also shows how interested you are in the company.

Do your research. LinkedIn will pull up news articles based on what fields where you’ve shown interest. Browse these articles on a regular basis to stay on top of trends in your industry. This will give you topics to discuss when networking and during interviews. You can also follow LinkedIn Influencers, many of whom are CEOs and high-level executives, who regularly share unique business insights and thought-provoking issues impacting professionals around the world.

Organize your connections. LinkedIn has come out with several apps, such as Contacts and CardMunch, which allows you to easily upload contact information, sort contacts and open channels of communication. Having all contacts organized and in one place will make it easier when you start reaching out to gather references for the job hunt.

It takes more than just a basic profile. By taking an active role, you can showcase your talents and expertise, stay on top of the breaking industry news and network and learn from professionals in your field – all of which can give you the competitive edge in the job market.

Printed from the Iowa College Student Aid Commission website on May 21, 2018 at 9:33am.