Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I’m on LinkedIn – Now what? Part 1

This blog was written by Brittany Moore a senior pursuing a double degree in Business Marketing and Broadcast News.

Part 1: Building your LinkedIn Profile
With over 150 million members, LinkedIn is the leading professional networking and job search social media site on the web.  Resumes are not enough anymore. With eighty percent of companies using LinkedIn to recruit, it is crucial to have a professional online presence. 

Building Your Profile

The first and most crucial aspect to creating a LinkedIn page is setting up your profile.  Building your profile begins by setting up your experience and educational information.  You can do this by either uploading your resume or inputting your experiences manually.  Regardless of the method you use to upload your experience, double check the experience descriptions and make sure it is in-depth and accurate.  Contrary to the resume, you have as much room as you need – so use it!  This also means you can add any high school experience in order to gain more networking contacts. 
Another step towards building your profile is creating a keyword rich summary that is concise, specific, and the spelling/grammar is correct.  The summary can be up to two paragraphs and is more or less considered to be your general cover letter explaining who you are and what you want to do. 
The next step to building your profile is collecting recommendations.  Similar to asking for references and recommendation letters, you should ask someone you know well to write a positive and professional note. Give them enough time to write a recommendation and don’t expect it that same day. Remember to thank them once they have written one for you. Suggestions for people to ask for recommendations include: professors, supervisors, bosses, and colleagues.  Recommendations are usually a couple of sentences long and highlight one of your strengths or accomplishments.  An example of a LinkedIn recommendation looks like this:

Brittany has worked for me as a Peer Career Advisor.  In an effort to increase the information our office provides for students, Brittany initiated and co-created a presentation on using social media in the job search for CU-Boulder students.

Finally it is important to link your profile to all of your other efforts including: Twitter, personal websites, professional websites, blog, work portfolio, etc. 

Once your profile is finished, it is important to advertise it through your email signature line, business cards, and the contact information on your resume. 
For more information about using Twitter and Facebook to job search and create a professional online presence visit the following web pages:
  1. CU Career Services Twitter Help
  2. CU Career Services Facebook Help
  3. Create an Online Presence 
  4. Leverage Social Media 
  5. Linkin’It Up  Presentation
How to Market Yourself Through Social Networking
In light of our ever-changing technological society, the Peer Career Advisors are facilitating an innovative workshop to share resources and opportunities to market yourself using social media. The workshop will focus on the primary social media tools and how to incorporate a professional edge when using these sites. The first half of the workshop will review best practices for Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and personal/professional websites to further your knowledge on the sites and how to use them to attract employers. The second half of the program will focus on LinkedIn with a demonstration and thorough review of the website and its benefits for students. LinkedIn is the primary professional networking site and is extremely useful and easy to use. Linkin’It Up is a great way to keep up with new digital media and learn how to adequately market yourself in a professional manner! Participants are encouraged to bring their laptops to follow along for a hands-on learning experience. The next workshop is April 5th from 5:30-7:00  in C4C S350 so be sure to join us!

Stay tuned for Part 2: Using LinkedIn to Job Search on April 5th!eam. As a young person, I envisioned the rewarding career in Broadcast Journalism and what it would provide. Due to my outgoing and determined personality, I started achieving many goals throughout high school and in college.