Building Your Brand: Our Guide to LinkedIn

Whether you’re looking for a summer job or thinking about changing your current job, LinkedIn is a great resource to build your network! As of 2017, the professional networking website contained more than 500 million members. But if you’re setting up your profile for the first time + don’t have someone to guide you, it can be overwhelming. So, we’ve created a guide to provide you the basics of LinkedIn + help you grow your professional network.

THE BASICS

Headshot // It’s important that your profile contains a photo — it has been proven to increase traffic toward your page. But keep in mind, the number one rule for your picture is it should not be a selfie! We repeat, no selfies! If you don’t have a headshot, have your friend take a photo of you behind a plain background in professional attire. Depending on your major//career path, you can show your personality through your clothes [e.g. a marketing major can wear a more colorful pantsuit, whereas a finance major should stick to a black or grey one].

If you’re in need of a professional headshot, events + clubs on campus often offer them as fundraisers [or for free!], so keep your eye out : ) Want more tips for picking the best headshot to make your profile stand out? Check out these five from LinkedIn’s Talent Blog!

Summary // Your summary appears at the very top of your profile. It’s the perfect place to tell potential employers more about who you are//your qualifications + what type of position you’re actively searching for! You can share both or just one. Your profile doesn’t have to contain a summary, but it can enhance it! Additionally, it’s a good place to attach your portfolio//website if you have one.

Content // One of the most important things regarding content is that it’s up-to-date with your resume! If a potential employer who has your resume looks at your LinkedIn, they shouldn’t see many differences. However, an added bonus to using a website is being able to attach items. If you created content for an organization [advertisements//articles//graphics] or conducted research, you can link//upload it! When filling in a job experience, simply click either upload or link under the Media header.

Connections // Many people have questions about the number of connections one should have. I’ve always been told the number doesn’t matter, it’s more important that your content is up to date. LinkedIn suggests 30 connections is a good start for new users. If you want to grow your network, start by connecting with college//high school peers, professors, family, or fellow CHAARGies ; ) CHAARG enables us to connect with empowered women nationwide, use that to your advantage! One last piece of advice, do not accept requests from strangers. We know it’s weird, but some people use LinkedIn for unprofessional purposes [stay away from them!].

JOB SEARCHING

LinkedIn is built to connect you to employers + vice versa. So we’re breaking down how to search for a job in a few quick steps —

#1] Click the Jobs tab in the upper right hand of your homepage

#2] Type in the desired position in the search bar [e.g. Fitness Instructor] + add your location [city//state//country]

#3] Hit search

#4] Add in any additional filters — date posted, LinkedIn features, company, experience level, distance, + more [click all filters]

#5] Apply the filters + explore all of your options

Once you find a job that interests you, the next step is applying for which LinkedIn provides two options — easy apply + apply. Learn all about them here as well as how to apply!

Overall, LinkedIn is a great tool for building your professional network! Are you a LinkedIn pro with additional tips? Share them with us in the comments!

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