Welcome to Week III of the Back to School LinkedIn Challenge!
This week, I want you to focus on the concept that your LinkedIn profile is truly your resume – on steroids. Utilize your LinkedIn profile to include all of the experiences and accomplishments that there was not room for on your one-page resume. Take the opportunity to go in to more detail on the positions you held in organizations in which you held leadership roles and give more detail about your accomplishments in the classroom and your past work experiences.
After you have reviewed your summary, work experience, and education sections and provided more detail, complete the following three simple steps:
1. Customize your LinkedIn profile URL.
I recommend selecting an easy to remember URL that is as close as possible to your first and last name. If you have a very common name, this might be difficult. Be creative but keep it professional.
Emily Smith (Public Relations major) – www.linkedin.com/in/EmilySmithPR
Joseph Johnson (Middle name: Victor) – www.linkedin.com/in/JosephVJohnson
Brad Moore (Business Management major) – www.linkedin.com/in/BradMooreBM
Amy Harris (Aviation major) – www.linkedin.com/in/AmyTheAviator
HOW TO: Go to “Settings” at the top of your LinkedIn homepage in the upper right-hand corner. Under “Profile Settings”, click the “Public Profile” link. At the top is “Your Public Profile URL”. Click “Edit” (in small print to the right). Once you have entered your custom URL, click on “Set Address” to save it.
2. Personalize your Professional Headline.
When you initially create your LinkedIn account, LinkedIn creates your professional headline for you by inserting your most recent position. Take the opportunity to tailor your headline to promote your personal brand.
HOW TO: From your homepage, click “Profile”. Your headline is directly under your name. Click “Edit” (in small print).
Write a recommendation for a colleague, supervisor, or fellow student. Select someone you can, obviously, write something good about. Keep the recommendation brief but speak to the person’s skills that you are familiar.
Make it relevant. If they were there for you after your boyfriend dumped you right before a huge project was due and pulled your weight because they knew you were totally depressed might be nice and warm and fuzzy but it is not relevant.
However, if they were always prepared, incredibly organized, and contributed immensely to the finished project, that is relevant. I am not a proponent of exchanging recommendations.
In other words, write me a recommendation and I’ll write one for you. To me, it appears contrived. Write a recommendation because you truly think the individual deserves it and is a stand-out.
1. Update your status weekly or daily.
Remember to keep it professional, however, not all personal interests are not off limits.
Reading “The Kite Runner” for Purdue’s common reading.
Excited for classes to start next week. Looking forward to enjoying classes in my new major!
My ME301 Professor sucks.
I hated my internship this summer but at least it was paid.
2. Continue to add groups and contacts.
Groups are the easiest way to find new contacts that you don’t know. Why would you want to connect with someone that you don’t know? Because the entire point on LinkedIn is to expand your network. The point is not to simply stay in contact with people you already know.
You’re almost done! Next week will be the final phase of the Back to School LinkedIn Challenge. Again, feel free to connect with me and ask for feedback. Don’t forget to personalize your invitation!
Claudine is a Career Services Consultant for the Center for Career Opportunities (CCO) at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Among other things, Claudine provides career and major counseling to students and alumni, assists employers with achieving their recruitment goals at Purdue, and dabbles in the use of social media to engage students. Claudine encourages you to connect with her on LinkedIn.