BY LORRAINE McKINNEY
While you are attending college, your Linkedin account may not seem like a priority. That is not the case. Keeping your Linkedin account up to date will help you with a career once you are ready to start looking. Here are seven ways to keep your Linkedin account up to date while you are attending college.
- Picture perfect – If you have not changed your Linkedin picture since you graduated high school or earlier it is time to do so now. You want to have a professional looking picture that shows you have grown and matured since your high school years. You can find tips online that will help you take a professional picture, or you can pay a professional to take one for you. Either way you want to be sure your picture is up to date.
- Cover Letter – If you have a generalized cover letter in your Linkedin account, you want to be sure it is updated with your current class information and extracurricular activities. If you have joined the newspaper or are a member of the student governing body you want to include that in your information. You do not want to list too much, but put down any classes that might show what degree you are working towards and any extracurriculars that will pertain to the career you are going to choose. It will show future employers that you are not just studying, but you are active in your college.
- Resume – Potential employers will be impressed with your up to date resume. If you have taken higher level classes or have gotten an internship you want to include that information on your updated resume. You also want to include any extracurricular programs and volunteer work you have participated in. Not only do you want to update what is in your resume, you want to polish the look of the resume itself. You can find different resume examples online that will show you how to give your resume a fresh new look.
- Personal website – Take some time to update your personal website so that future employers will see how you have progressed. You can link your assignments and more to your personal website and then link it all to Linkedin. It is important to keep up to date with your personal website as you advance in your college career. Updating it every semester will help you remember what you have accomplished and will show future employers that you are concerned about your potential career.
- Network – Now that you are attending college, you can add to your network. The more you experience, the more your network grows. Find people who are interested in the career you are looking into and see if you can add them to your Linkedin profile. You can ask professors, administrators, coaches, and others. The more you network, the greater your potential to advance in your career once you have graduated.
- Recommendations – Now that you have a larger network, you can get some updated recommendations to put on Linkedin. You want to have recommendations from at least two people you have taken a class from or have gotten to know from your extracurricular activities. Make an appointment to talk to them and ask them to write a recommendation on your Linkedin account. You can also ask them to write a general letter of recommendation you can keep with your resume and your cover letter.
- Blog – Start a blog or be sure to continue or update a blog you have started. Potential employers can see what you are currently doing and know that you will keep up with things even when you are busy. Continuity is important to potential employers and you want to be sure they can see that in your blog. You should link your blog to your professional website and your Linkedin page.
Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and elearning specialist.