Make LinkedIn Work For You
Photo credit: Foter.com
LinkedIn is one of the best professional tools out there…when used correctly. But, just like a stagnant social media page, an incomplete LinkedIn profile isn’t a good look and worse, a huge missed opportunity.
LinkedIn is your digital portfolio and (especially if you’re a student or recent graduate) you should have no shortage of information to publish if you look at it this way.
Professional experience isn’t accrued only in an office or work-specific environment.
Especially for new pros, the traditional definition of “professional” can be stretched to qualify experiences that in someway support your career development.
We’ve all got to start somewhere.
Class projects, volunteer service, association membership (*cough* PRSA and PRSSA), accomplishments (see below), entry-level and non-PR jobs, are all valuable experiences that help you become a well-rounded professional and therefore: professional experience.
Before you get caught up in your “lack of experience” take a step back and realize you’ve got plenty to work with.
And, LinkedIn makes it so easy! They have buckets for:
Work experience: think beyond job/intern experience and add committee experience (can’t land an internship, job: join a committee).
Education: from high school to college, this is an easy and necessary addition to your profile.
Volunteer service: single-day event or campaign, volunteering shows you’re willing to sacrifice free time for work AKA you’re industrious (5-point word).
Accomplishments: courses (webinars count), organizations, certifications, languages, test scores, more easy yet necessary additions that will strengthen your profile.
Following: follow companies, outlets, groups, people and brands to show you’re “in the know” (don’t know who to follow at first? Find someone who does and follow who they follow).
Groups: residual networking… by joining a group on LinkedIn you’re automatically creating a digital pool of peers you can passively or actively engage with
Hopefully while reading this you’ve thought of at least three relevant experiences you can add to your profile.
Still struggling? Shoot me an email and let’s hash it out at your favorite coffee shop or, better yet, happy hour spot.
Oh, and make sure to connect with me on LinkedIn!
PRO TIP: LinkedIn is also a solution to another struggle: getting your resume to fit on one page.
If you can’t make it fit, move your less-recent info to your LinkedIn and direct hiring managers to your profile for more information.
Stay tuned for monthly blog posts from the New Pros committee and if you haven’t yet, subscribe to our newsletter so you never miss out.
Need a blog to publish on LinkedIn? Write for us!
Jordyn Anderson is a co-founder and chair of the New Professionals Section as well as a director-at-large on the PRSA Sacramento executive board. Jordyn has been an active member of PRSA since graduating from California State University, Sacramento in May 2014 where she served three semesters on the PRSSA executive board. Between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (and often far beyond) she heads all PR and media efforts for the Downtown Sacramento Partnership. Jordyn was recently awarded the Distinguished Young Influencer of the Year Award at the PRSA Sacramento 2016 Influence Awards.