I hope everyone is finding himself or herself well this week! I want to talk about an online application that I have found to be really helpful so far in the professional world—LinkedIn.
Within the first quarter of the MPA program, we were required to set-up a LinkedIn account, and frankly, I didn’t really see the point? How was social networking going to help me find a job? I had already edited my other social networking applications, so why did I need another one?
LinkedIn can be considered an online avenue to sell yourself—why should employers and your peers give you a chance—and it can serve as an online resume, with a little more detail.
Here are some helpful hints, if you want to start using LinkedIn:
- Choose a professional picture—ducklips and pictures from your most recent shuffle don’t belong here. Choose a picture that makes you look confident and competent. It is difficult to manage a first impression online, but this is one way to help.
- Keep it up to date—this doesn’t include the constant stream of status updates and tweets that you would post on Facebook. Keep it professional and accurate. Make sure your updates are meaningful.
- Link to other websites—if your Twitter is professional, link to it! If you have an online resume or website, link to it! I have this blog linked on mine so that other professionals can see more of my personality as well as my professional endeavors.
- Describe your professionals job well—what did you do in that internship that makes you marketable? Did you gain any valuable skills that transfer to other workplaces? The summary of skills and descriptions of job are an opportunity to write more in depth about jobs, that you might not be able to in a resume.
- Utilize the recommendations—if a former boss or peer thinks you did an awesome job, have them write you a recommendation. Especially if you plan to use LinkedIn to find jobs, use the recommendations to have someone else say nice things about you and your skills.
- Connect to professional networks—threads on professional network pages can give you insight to the new ideas in your field and give you something to talk about at conferences.
Hope you can utilize some of these hints if and when you decide to create a LinkedIn page!
Happy Week 7! 🙂