Life after Piedmont: How LinkedIn can help land a career

BRANSON MIKELL
Contributing Writer

Linkedin is one of the most powerful tools that people can use when it comes to starting a career.  According to the Linkedin Corporation, Linkedin “is a business-oriented social networking service.”

In other terms, it is a professional version of Facebook.  Linkedin is a great way to meet and connect with people on a professional level, and can lead to internships and jobs.  It’s a great thing to have in today’s job market considering that most employers expect potential employees to have a Linkedin profile.

Linkedin is user friendly and the basic service is free.  Users can go to www.linkedin.com and create an account with an email and password.

Once the profile is created, one should proceed to post a professional headshot for a profile picture. Make sure that this picture isn’t just a “selfie” that was taken on a night out.

Linkedin then has options to post things on the profile such as experience, honors and awards, volunteer, skills and much more. The more information somebody puts about himself or herself, the better their profile will look to employers.

A Linkedin profile is ultimately a digital resume, which is why employers are so eager to find qualified candidates on it.  Adding aspects such as a background picture and posting it to the feed will increase visibility to other people on the site.

One very helpful tool that is provided to users is the profile strength meter. This is a way to tell users how strong their profile is. Using this meter can be a good way to indicate if a page will get high visibility or not.

Another good tip is to post contact information on a profile. This makes it easy for employers to get in touch with the person they are interested in. If there is no contact information on a profile, the employer will be more likely to leave the page and not attempt to find a way to contact the person.

Once someone has built a unique and information filled profile, they will want to connect with other professionals using the site.  A connection is the same concept as adding a friend on Facebook.  The great thing about Linkedin is that it will suggest connections based on location, schools that someone has attended and similar jobs.

The more connections a user has the better, because connecting with one employer can lead to another employer and so on. Another useful feature is that new connections can endorse people for skills listed on their profile.  When employers see that other connections have endorsed a person’s skills, it will demonstrate how effective that person is at the skills that they have listed.

Linkedin is designed to reward its users by allowing them to interact with others in a professional way, leading them to potential employers.

It allows users to update their profile frequently, which is an important aspect of keeping up with a Linkedin profile. Users should be sure to update their profile with any new professional experience as frequently as possible to be sure that their profile is recent. If an employer is looking at a potential employee’s profile, they want to see that the candidate is active in expanding his or her experience and skills.

Some of the greatest benefits for users to take advantage of are the suggested connections that Linkedin provides, along with the chance to make their profile more visible for others to see.

Anyone looking for a job or even an internship that doesn’t have a Linkedin account should get one immediately because it can lead to great opportunities.