What's the deal with Linkedin? Is it like Facebook or what?
In short: it is a professional, networking, job searching Facebook. As a college student, even with minimal experience, I would still 10/10 recommend starting a Linkedin today. There is a free version that works perfect and it is important to start networking now. There are 467 million people on Linkedin from diverse backgrounds and different countries all over the world.
Okay cool. Where should I begin? Well, first and foremost, make sure you have a professional email. That firstname.lastname@example.org that you made in 4th grade is not professional. You'll look like a joke or a scammer (both not good for getting an adult job) Make something that contains your name and that is not embarrassing to use. Mine is email@example.com for Emily M. Alimusa.
It's also not a terrible idea to google yourself. See what posts and pictures pop up right off the bat. Luckily, my last name is pretty unique and I am the only Emily Alimusa in the world for now but if you have a really common name like Jane Smith, it might help to include your middle name when you begin to brand yourself. Stand out from the crowd a bit.
Onto the Linkedin profile!!
Take a professional photo and choose a back ground photo that kinda- sorta relates to your field. Write your headline and use key words that others can search you by and set a location where you are looking for a job/ internship. As a final first impression, write a summery of yourself and what you are looking for. Make this super personalized. It is basically your elevator pitch and talk in first person. This is the very first impression a potential employer will have of you. Add specific facts about your self like if you know a second language or other fun things in a professional nature (not how many donut holes you can fit in your mouth at once )
Moving on to the experience and education sections. For experience, copy directly for your resume. Linkedin is basically an online copy of your resume. One awesome thing you can do with Linkedin-- you can upload samples of your work as media to show case. So if you made a sick graphic design poster or wrote a stellar media kit, you can add it here without looking too pushy! Amazing.
You can add skills to the bottom of your Linkedin page and people in your network can endorse you on these ~skills~ so if you know photoshop like the back of your hand, make it a skill and ask people in you class, professors, mentors, co-workers, etc..... to endorse. Hiring managers can see that 15 people also think your the bees knees at photoshop and they will be more inclined to bring you on.
Now get networking! Connect with your classmates, professors, co- workers, family members, high school peeps, mentors, anyone! You'll never know who you may have distance connections with through your first connections.
And there you have it! You are already to go! Now get out there!
Do you use Linkedin? Let's chat in the comments!