Do you want to learn how to build a professional profile on LinkedIn? Let’s start by pointing out that almost everyone is on social media. Some people are active on their social accounts multiple times a day; I’m sure some of our readers are “serial Facebookers” and nodding their heads right now! But did you know that LinkedIn is one of the most important social media websites for students and graduates?
All students prepare to head into the workforce by going through the painstaking process of building a professional resume and cover letter that showcases their experience, education, and skills. But if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, or it is incomplete or out of date, you are missing a fantastic opportunity to show that you can put your money where your mouth is when it comes to your portfolio.
Don’t freak out if you have never used LinkedIn or are unfamiliar with the site’s inner workings. We have compiled our favorite quick tips to teach you how to build a professional profile on LinkedIn.
Your profile headline, found underneath your name, is the second thing people see when viewing your profile thumbnail or your entire profile. Think of it as the slogan for your professional brand. For example, an MT/HDS student could use “Medical Transcriptionist/Healthcare Documentation Specialist Student, CanScribe Career College,” or a new graduate could use something like “Honors graduate seeking Medical Transcription/Healthcare Documentation position.”
Your profile picture is not the place to post a cute photo of your cat. Try to find the clearest, highest quality photo of you, alone and professionally dressed. If you can’t find a picture you like, head to a well-lit area with a background that isn’t too distracting, and get a friend or family member to help you take one. Remember who will be viewing the photo; recruiters and other professional connections will view your image.
Head to your school’sto add yourself as a student or alumni to their network. Their page is a great place to find and connect with your fellow students and alumni.
Don’t hold back from sharing any distinctions you received (e.g., Honors); click add a section in your profile (each section has a unique colorful tile) and look for Honors and Awards. Mention anything else that might grab a recruiter’s attention. Have you earned a scholarship or won an award? Validate your accomplishments by adding them here. Were you part of any school groups or student organizations? This section is also an excellent spot for CanScribe graduates to mention their practicum experience, which is an aspect of their studies that will set them apart from other new MT/HDS graduates.
When listing different schools you attended, make sure your college education is listed highest, similar to how you would display it on your resume.
This section is where you should consider your skills and keywords that recruiters might be typing when looking for the position you would like to have. Try adding at least 5 or 6 essential skills. If you are unsure about what types of skills to add, ask your instructor or student services advisor at your college or refer to the other connections in the same career as you.
Recommendations on your LinkedIn profile are almost like references on your resume. They give credibility to all of those skills and achievements you listed earlier. They can add insight into what it is like to have you as an employee, co-worker, or classmate.
One of the biggest mistakes most people make on LinkedIn is assuming they should create a profile and let it sit dormant. LinkedIn isn’t just a “one and done” resume that you can update every time you are looking for a new job. Check your updates regularly, share content that interests you, constantly update your profile and skills. The more effort you put in, the more your professional connections will grow.
The above tips are just a short guideline to getting things started on how to build a professional profile on LinkedIn. There are so many more sections and areas to your LinkedIn profile that you can utilize to showcase who you are as a professional. We love this LinkedIn Profile Checklist that visually displays each part of the profile and what you can include in each.
When you get your LinkedIn profile completed, you could also consider attaching a link to it in your resume. Think of LinkedIn as your professional business card. You are an educated individual with skills to showcase; put them out there! Presenting recruiters with a professional, completed profile will impress them and set you apart from other applicants.
What did you think of our post on how to build a professional profile on LinkedIn? If you’re looking for more tips, check out our post on building your LinkedIn profile as a Virtual Assistant! Have any comments? Let us know below or follow CanScribe on Facebook and let us know what you think!