As a former recruiter who worked with employers around the country to fill a range of positions from entry-level college grads to CFOs, I highly recommend that you build a profile on LinkedIn. Any time I reviewed résumés, the first thing I did when I wanted to learn more about someone was go to LinkedIn and see if they had a profile. If they didn’t have a strong profile, I moved their résumé to the bottom of my pile!
Here are six helpful LinkedIn tips to make your profile as effective as possible.
- Add a professional picture on your profile – If you post a picture to your profile, studies have shown it is eleven times more likely to be viewed! In my experience as a recruiter, I didn’t even click on profiles that didn’t have pictures. Keep in mind though that your picture needs to be professional. Make sure you are professionally dressed with a nice backdrop behind you, and make sure the picture is only from your upper chest or shoulders and above.
- List as many skills as possible on your profile – These skills can be anything from technical skills (such as Excel, PowerPoint, or SAS) to general skills (such as problem solving, public speaking, or sales). People who list skills on their profiles are thirteen times more likely to have their profiles viewed!
- Complete the education portion – If you know your expected graduation date, add it to your profile so recruiters don’t contact you about jobs that start before you graduate. Also, be sure to add relevant coursework, and site examples of leadership even if you have to go back to high school activities. Recruiters love leaders!
- Connect with alumni – Under the “My Network” column on your homepage, click “Find Alumni”. This is an easy way to find people who would be open to connecting with you. There are nearly 70,000 Baylor alums as of today that you can connect with!
- Customize your connection requests – When you request to connect with someone, alter the default message to tell the person how you know them or why you would like to connect. This 10-second task increases the odds that someone you don’t know will agree to connect with you.
- Check out the jobs! – LinkedIn has thousands of jobs for professionals at all career stages. You can customize your job search by criteria such as location, company size, industry, experience level, and more. Many times a job posting will even tell you who posted the position, which means you can request to connect with them, introduce yourself, and get your name moved to the top of the job poster’s mind as they are reviewing applicants.
Written By: Adam Kaye, Director of Employer Relations at Baylor University