Are you LinkedIn?
As a freshman student at Villanova creating a LinkedIn profile right now may seem daunting. You may feel like you do not have enough qualifications and experiences to create an impressive profile that future employers could already be looking at. With these things in mind, you still know that creating a LinkedIn profile is undeniably necessary as a VSB student.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social network. As of 2013, LinkedIn’s reported user total topped 3 billion people. LinkedIn reaches over 200 territories around the world and is offered in 20 languages. Today, every 2 seconds that pass, another person joins LinkedIn.
On November 11, 2014 the VSB Mentor program and Women in Business offered a workshop facilitated by Mr. Kevin Grubb, the associate director of digital media at Villanova University. The workshop’s goal was to benefit Villanova students with the proper way to structure their LinkedIn profiles, expand their professional networks, and learn how to use LinkedIn to apply for jobs.
Mr. Grubbs tips for constructing the best LinkedIn profile as a college student include:
- Only add people you know and trust at first, and then broaden your horizons over time. As a rising student there is no need to immediately follow everyone whose name you recognize on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is not Facebook.
- Sell yourself! Your headline is the most important series of words on your profile. These are the words and phrases that you want to be known for, so focus on what you think will land you the job/internship. Tagcrowd.com creates word clouds to show you which words are key in your description.
- Make your public profile URL simple. Something like, linkedIn.com/yourname
- If you do not have much experience, especially if you are a freshman at Villanova, add other information. Focus on organizations, skills, volunteer work, and education. Volunteering can be just as important as work experience.
- Follow companies and organizations that you are interested in. LinkedIn recruits for many companies. LinkedIn recruiters may look at who follows the companies that they are recruiting for.
- Bold words that are important on your profile.
- Look at who viewed your profile.
- Set a professional looking profile picture. Profiles with a photo are 11x more likely to be viewed.
The LinkedIn Breakdown
- Background: Use keywords so that you will be found in searches by potential connections.
- Location: Your location should not be where you are living, but where you want to be. For example: “the greater Manhattan area”.
- Summary: This section on your profile is important, but be careful not to turn it into a resume. The summary should be organized in short paragraphs and at the end, let your readers know what you want to get out of LinkedIn. For example say, “Send me a message”.
- Experience: The experience section is usually paid experience or significant involvement in something. All other experiences go in the organizations category.
- Skills: This section should include at least 10 skills, ranked in order of importance.
- Honors and Awards: Self-explanatory.
- Groups: Include real life affiliations, sororities, volunteer groups, and professional associations.
There are currently 80,000 Villanovans who are active on LinkedIn, many of whom are alumni waiting to connect with current Villanova students. Follow https://www.linkedin.com and sign up to starting living LinkedIn.