CCS career advisor offers tips and advice on LinkedIn to UT PRSSA
As the semester comes to a close, communication students are searching, applying, interviewing and (with luck) accepting summer internships and full-time jobs.
If it hasn’t been drilled into your head by now, whether you’re applying for an internship, job or getting a VP to come to coffee with you, it’s a who-you-know world. A tool that makes the entire process smoother and less stressful is one that you should really be using almost daily: LinkedIn.
LinkedIn acts as more than a digital address book on steroids (which is how many think of it for the better part of their first year using it); it’s actually a social networking platform that allows users to market themselves, seek out and network with those in their field and search for job and internship openings.
The LinkedIn network boasts over 200 million professionals and 2 million companies—63 percent of those companies are outside of the United States. Newsflash: students and recent grads are fastest growing demographic.
Monica Jackson, UT Communication Career Services Career Advisor visited UT PRSSA last month to share her 13 years of career advising experience and tips on getting the most out of a LinkedIn profile.
“In the professional capacity of things, LinkedIn is a digital replica of your resume that allows you to take it one step further that you can’t do with your standard one-page resume,” Jackson said.
Below is a summary of Jackson’s advice on building your professional presence online.
General Benefits for Students & Alumni
- Build a professional online presence
- Connect in a meaningful way with alumni and other “warm” contacts (aka those you may have met in passing and want to follow up with to get to know them better)
- Research companies and industries (think Career Fairs and upcoming interviews)
- Explore opportunities for undecided students
- Learn professional networking etiquette
- Go into detail about who you are, what you’re studying, affiliations, plans are, what you’ve done, career goals
- Don’t list your high school
- List study abroad school or coursework
- Don’t list small colleges you only took one or two courses at
- Add projects that you’re working on in classes and in your organizations (like PRSSA!)
- List all relevant job/internship history that is relevant to your future career
- Don’t go into explicit detail on irrelevant positions
- Fill in coursework and leave them on your profile for one to three years after graduation (you do go to a top 25 university after all!)
- Keep it professional while in school
- Doesn’t necessarily have to be a professional headshot
- You don’t need to keep same picture on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
Skills & Expertise
- List all relevant skills, then people can endorse you
- List your awards, associations and organizations in their respective sections
- List what you think will be helpful for potential employers to contact you
- Example: your Skype handle may be good if you need to have a video interview
Odds & Ends
- Customize your LinkedIn URL – make it your full name
- Add your LinkedIn URL to your signature block in your email/Twitter description
- Join groups, follow companies and news – you’ll get relevant news and people can see what you care about
- Get recommendations from past employers and organizational leaders
How UT students can develop a great online presence:
- Make an appointment with Jackson and work on it together
- Take your polished resume (action verbs, direct, concise, bullet points, internships, jobs, student orgs, volunteer work, awards and skills) and copy and paste that info into LinkedIn
- Continually update your profile and add contacts to your network