Monday, June 15, 2015

Here's What a Recent Grad's LinkedIn Profile Should Look Like

By Lauir McMullen

Employers don't want to hire college kids; they want to recruit young professionals. And one of the best ways to show you're the latter – even when you're still green – is to build a professional presence on LinkedIn.
After all, it's the world's largest online professional network, which, according to its website, is accruing more than two new members per second. You should be one of these new members, showing off what a catch you are to the 364 million-plus professionals on LinkedIn.
How do you stand out as one in a million – rather, 3.6 million? The first step is creating a stellar profile. Start here:

Your Homework

Write a compelling headline. Your headline is the text below your name and above your location. It's "the most important piece of real estate on your entire LinkedIn profile," writes millennial workplace expert Lindsay Pollak in her book, "Becoming the Boss: New Rules for the Next Generation of Leaders." Along with your photo, this headline is the first item recruiters, hiring managers and other professional contacts will see – so use these 120 characters wisely.
Catherine Fisher, senior director of corporate communications at LinkedIn, suggest this template for a headline: "what you're doing now" plus "what you hope to do." She gives a few examples: "2015 USC Grad Seeking Entertainment Marketing Position," "Marketing Grad and Social Media Branding Specialist Seeking Internship" or, if you're still in school, "Econ Major and Aspiring Financial Analyst"​ If you get stuck, Pollak advises looking at the profiles of other people in your industry whom you admire. How do they describe themselves in their headlines?
Upload a professional photo. Great news: Potential employers are searching LinkedIn for someone with your skill set and experience. Bad news: They don't want to hire a mysterious gray avatar. Upload a photo of you, alone, in at least semi-professional gear. Take this step, and your profile will be 14 times more likely to be viewed, Fisher says. ​ 
Summarize your story. While a résumé distills you to a black-and-white list of bullet points, a LinkedIn profile allows you to show some personality and tell your story in its summary section. "This is the way to stand out and make recruiters want to meet you," writes U.S. News blogger Marcelle Yeager, in a post about quick ways to improve your LinkedIn profile.
As LinkedIn itself suggests on the helpful resource,, use the summary to "[d]escribe what motivates you, what you're skilled at and what's next." ​

Read the rest here.