It’s never a bad time to brush up on your online presence, and with recruitment and application season right around the corner, TRMC is here to make sure you’re equipped to make those LinkedIn connections with confidence.
HAVE A GOOD HEADSHOT
As students, we meet so many new faces on a regular basis – whether it be through networking events, classes, or mutual friends. It’s not always so easy putting two and two together when you get a connection from a faceless LinkedIn user with a familiar sounding name.
Give your connections something to refresh their memory – having a clean, bright photo on your profile can make a world of a difference. If you meet a recruiter at an event and send them a connection when you get home, the last thing you want is for them to decline because they simply forgot your name.
While we may not have access to the Business Career Hub’s free headshots in Ted Rogers due to the academic year being online, you can still get a great headshot while staying safe at home. Make sure to wear something with a neutral colour and try to get the photo in a room with lots of natural light. Ask a family member to take the photo, or even place your camera on a piece of furniture at eye level and set a timer. The other good thing about taking your own headshots is having full control over how many attempts you get at taking the perfect photo!
INCLUDE ALL YOUR EXPERIENCE – EVEN VOLUNTEER WORK
There is no such thing as invaluable experience, and you never know what could end up sparking a conversation when meeting someone new. Even if you volunteered at an event and you were only there for the day, the fact that you were part of the event is definitely worth mentioning.
Chances are that the recruiter reviewing your application will want to look over your profile, and if it so happens that you both attended the same fundraiser event two years ago, you’ll both have something in common to break the ice with at your interview.
ENGAGE, SHARE POSTS YOU ENJOY
Read an especially thought-provoking post? Don’t just like and continue scrolling – leave a comment! Let the author know what you think, or how you enjoyed taking time out of your day to read their post.
The same goes for the reverse side of it, if you read an article you particularly enjoyed, share it with your network! It doesn’t need to be anything too serious – chances are, if you enjoyed it, somebody else either in your program or industry will enjoy it as well. Even if it’s unrelated to your industry or school altogether – LinkedIn is a great place to find like-minded people, so if there’s something happening in the world that you feel passionate about, talk about it.
CELEBRATE OTHER’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS WELL AS YOUR OWN
You may be the kind of person that likes to keep your personal life very separate from your professional life. However, LinkedIn is a great place to talk about and celebrate your professional development and growth! It’s equally as helpful reading posts by others who have similar goals as you and seeing how their progress is going.
Make sure to always celebrate other’s accomplishments, no matter how big or small. Showing your support can go a long way, and a supportive and encouraging environment is something we should all strive to create for one another.
UPDATE YOUR PROFILE URL
The automatic URL for your LinkedIn profile usually has a combination of letters and numbers at the end of it. However, LinkedIn gives you the option to update it to something a little cleaner. Usually, you can change it to something like linkedin.com/in/firstname-lastname.
This makes it look much cleaner when sharing the link with potential connections via other platforms or adding it to your resume.
DON’T WAIT TOO LONG TO CONNECT
Don’t wait a week after your event to connect on LinkedIn – try to send those connections the same day or next day at latest. This way, you’ll still be fresh in their mind and there’s less of a chance that they may not remember you among all the other people they met at the event.
Another best practice to keep when connecting on LinkedIn is to send a short message – it can be as simple as “Hi Dave, it was so great meeting you at tonight’s event. Would love to stay in touch with you via LinkedIn”. Or, if this is someone you met a while back, be sure to specify where and when you remember them from. If you’d like to build a connection with them for the first time over LinkedIn, briefly introduce yourself and state why you want to connect with them (ex. “Would love to chat with you sometime about XYZ.”).
HAVE A GOOD SUMMARY
While this one may take some time to think of, it’s also one of the most valuable tools available to you on your profile. Your summary is a chance for you to explain who you are beyond the program you’re in at school and the internships you’ve had.
What is it about your area of study that you enjoy? What did you love about your recent internship? What are your long-term goals? Your summary is the perfect place to answer some of these questions that will let recruiters know a lot more about who you are than your resume will.
MAKE SURE YOUR HEADLINE IS THE TRUEST REFLECTION OF YOU
LinkedIn often sets your headline to be your most recent position under the “Experiences” section of your profile. However, this is not always the best indicator of the big picture of who you are. Instead, try to create a personalized headline that reflects your summary – someone you’re aiming to be, or whichever current role is most important to you at the moment. Whether that’s the position you have at your part-time job, your internship, as a student leader, or whatever it is you’re interested in achieving as of late.
In today’s climate, online networking is more important than ever. We hope that your new, updated LinkedIn profile will help you feel confident enough to send out those invitations and make those connections.