Your Online Presence & LinkedIn Profile
Your online presence and use of professional social networking sites are key components to your ability to market your skills and experiences to prospective employers. Three out of every four recruiters will search candidates online to see what kind of information appears, so you want to take steps to ensure that the information about you is appropriate and highlights your skills, accomplishments, and experiences.
Google yourself. See what information comes up. Does it positively reflect your skills, interests, and accomplishments in a professional manner? If not, take steps to alter the content of the sites you can control to ensure that employers see only the things which will aid in your ability to get hired.
Get LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a networking site that enables you to connect with a wide variety of professionals in organizations or fields of interest. Creating a profile that lists your professional experience and expertise is the first step. See the LinkedIn Grad Guide for information on creating your account.
General tips on using LinkedIn:
- Join groups. This will give you an opportunity to connect with people you wouldn’t otherwise have access to and you can be a part of discussions regarding your field(s) of interest.
- When inviting someone to connect with you, make sure to personalize your invitation with details of how you know each other to help ensure they accept your invitation.
- Search company profiles to do research on an organization of interest to you. You can also “follow” organizations to keep “in the loop” on the organization and see job postings.
- Update your profile regularly.
- View the Piper Center's Top 6 Things You Should Know About LinkedIn tipsheet.
- Read Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job by Guy Kawasaki
- Check out this post from the LinkedIn Blog to learn more about some of the specific sections designed to help you highlight some of your awards, projects and courses.
Tips for writing a LinkedIn profile summary:
- Write in the first person.
- Start with the Who. Who are you? What is at your core, as it relates to your career path? What are you currently doing that relates to this field? This can include things such as your deep beliefs about your career field (e.g. "I am a firm believer in quality education for everyone, regardless of their background."), your recent or current internship, volunteer or project work in your area of interest, and/or unique qualities or characteristics.
- Talk about the What. The next few sentences should discuss the skills and experiences you've had which prepare you for this field. This is a great place to use keywords specific to the job or field you want to enter into. Keep it more of a summary- you don't want to have an exact replica of your resume in here.
- Finish with the Goals. End your summary with your career-related goals for the future. Where will you go next?
- Be creative. Have fun with it, and consider attention-grabbing words or phrases used throughout to personalize it.