5 Tips for your LinkedIn Profile!
This blog post was written by Peer Career Ambassador, Rumeer Keshwani ’20
Hello Babson students! I am writing this quick LinkedIn guideline so that YOU can make sure that you are representing yourself professionally online. Everyone understands that social media is important. Well, employers fall into that category too. They turn to social media websites such as LinkedIn in order to view the professionals who are active online. YOU are a professional seeking an internship or employment. The internet is very useful and is an integral part of the modern workplace. This only speaks to how natural it should be for people to use websites such as LinkedIn in order to stay up to date with the pace of technology in business. In light of that fact I would like to offer you advice on how to maintain a good looking LinkedIn profile that will hopefully expand your network so YOU meet your goals!
1. Get a Good Headshot
A quality LinkedIn photo makes a good first impression. Whoever is viewing your profile at that time will only have your LinkedIn photo as a visual representation of who you are. Specifics that can heighten the quality of a profile picture are ensuring good lighting, using a high quality/good resolution camera, and being professionally dressed. As the first and most immediate way to make an impression on a potential employer, co-worker, or connection, it is necessary to ensure that you have a clear LinkedIn photo that represents you professionally or engaging in a professionally oriented activity (for example, speaking at an event). For more information, specifically about headshots please see this previous blog post focused specifically on the LinkedIn Photo.
2. Industry Specific
Different Industries (Marketing, Finance, Computer Science, Engineering, etc) look for different characteristics in their candidates. Your LinkedIn profile should reflect something similar. Think about who you want to find you on LinkedIn profile and the types of Industries those people potentially work in. This reflection will give you direction of what industry to align your LinkedIn profile to if you do not already know. Looking at alumni from Babson who work in that industry in order to get a Babson specific perspective on how to structure Babson specific experiences is a good way to continue adding to your profile. Think about how to incorporate MCFE or FME and consider how alumni articulate their experience at Babson post-graduation. Utilizing industry-specific language in your job descriptions, summaries, and headlines are also great ways to align your profile to the industry you are interested in. If you are still undecided on the specific industry or career path you are targeting, that’s okay too! Think specifically about the job function you want to fill or what it is you want to do post-graduation and tailor your language throughout your profile to support the different paths you are pursuing. For example, if you are interested in Finance and Entrepreneurship you would highlight different entrepreneurial experiences and different finance-based experiences using specific industry language for each.
3. Professional Summary
The Professional summary is an opportunity where you can describe to others who you are professionally and what your professional goals are. To decide what to populate your summary with, try writing down the four most important experiences or personal qualities you would like a potential employer or contact to know about you. Once you decide what you want to convey, you will proceed to try and convey that through describing the experiences or qualities you hold and the ways in which you learned from the experiences or creatively utilized the qualities. That will give you a great idea of how to write your summary. For fine-tuning it, check alumni in the industry or different quality summaries of relevant professionals.
Best Practices include: Understanding the goal of your summary, using “I” and being personable, achieving a concise summary, utilizing industry language, avoiding clichés, consider adding a call to action or including contact info, name drop experiences without shifting the focus of your summary off of yourself too much.
Posting is something that goes a long way on LinkedIn. It is an opportunity for you to demonstrate other qualities or interests. It humanizes you and makes your LinkedIn profile a more detailed representation of who you are. Sharing articles about advancements in sports, politics, financial markets, literature or anything else you are interested in can help add credibility to professional claims you make in person or online. Posting about professional milestones or events that complement your LinkedIn work history or volunteer history demonstrate that you are constantly working on building yourself up and speaks more about the experiences that you have actually held. Posts can last many days and sometimes over a week on your connections LinkedIn feeds. Posting once a month or sharing one article a week is a great way to slowly build up your profile. Posting also helps drive natural traffic to your page, which will lead to some potentially beneficial new connections!
5. Recommendations and Endorsements
Recommendations from employers, co-workers or team members add an incredible amount of value to your LinkedIn profile. Don’t wait for someone to send you a recommendation. You could be waiting a long time. Instead, feel free to ask someone, but make the request personal and polite. Speaking to them before you actually request it on LinkedIn may also be preferred. By default, LinkedIn will autofill the recommendation request box with some text. Take that out. Then, ask the person to recommend you for something specific that you worked on together, like a big project. However, you should be very specific about who you ask, do not ask everyone and make sure you know the quality of the recommendation that the person you ask will write to avoid any time-consuming scenarios. Lisa Alberts who is CCD’s expert on LinkedIn says, “You do not need to ask for a recommendation from every person you’ve worked with. Two to three total recommendations on your profile is plenty to show how others speak of your work.” Make sure that you also take the time to write recommendations for others and thank those who do it for you!