Last week I participated in Career Thought Leaders Consortium’s Virtual Conference. One of the classes I attended was hosted by Chrystal McArthur who is with Rutgers University’s Career Services office.
Not so long ago new grads needed only a resume and cover letter to apply to positions, but today the new grad must go beyond the traditional resume and create a robust LinkedIn presence. Ms. McArthur provided eight tips for making the best use of LinkedIn, and here they are! (Bolded text is hers; added info is mine.)
1. Use a professional headshot. No silly snaps of chugging beer on this professional site. Investing in a good headshot will have benefits beyond just looking great!
2. Ensure that the profile is keyword focused. Keywords can be found in the job postings to which you are applying. Focusing on one role is best.
3. Create an interesting, upbeat, can-do summary statement. No need to go ultra-professional with language that sounds overly business-like. Add flavour and personality, but do speak to the employer’s “buying motivators.”
4. Let the persona shine through! Yes, be authentic to who you are. Consider sharing what motivates you, what you hope to accomplish, how you work, the kind of environment, pace, and accountabilities that get you excited about work – as fits your role and personality.
5. Include volunteer and community service activities. Not all new grads have had the luxury of time that volunteering takes, but perhaps during high school you volunteered? In that case, rather than using dates, add the span of time. (Volunteer, Lovely Retirement Home, 3 years)
6. Rename the LinkedIn URL to a “vanity URL.” Free and easy to do, and takes less room on the resume or cover letter. (google the “how to.”)
7. Create a Twitter account or add links to YouTube videos. If you choose to do these, make sure your tweets and presentations are professional and work-focused.
8. Make regular updates. Simply creating a page is but the basic requirement. In order to truly “work it,” and use LinkedIn to your fullest benefit, post updates of how many resumes you sent out, how you’ve been networking, books you are reading, programs you are taking, what you can’t wait to be doing … endless possibilities to show why you are a great hire!
If you need help composing your LinkedIn presence, New Leaf is available and skilled in writing influential self-marketing documents! – Stephanie