I have a confession to make: up until a few weeks ago, I didn’t have a Linkedin account. To some that may sound insane, to others completely normal. I’d been receiving the occasional Linkedin email from friends syncing their contacts for years. I think some part of me wanted to resist the urge to join just to spite them. Show them that annoyance wasn’t going to wear me down. Then, I start applying for corporate internships. I saw friends accepting offers after talking to recruiters on Linkedin. I caved. I made an account and was immediately able to find friends who’d interned at the place I wanted to intern, reach out to them, and talk about their experiences. I will admit, Linkedin is incredibly useful. Even if they need to tone it down on their email campaigns. So whether you’re just joining or want to revamp your profile, here's a quick and easy guide to setting up and making the most out of your Linkedin account.
Make your account using a professional email you check regularly. Notification emails can be annoying, but they let you know when important things are happening.
Upload a professional profile picture. Get a friend to take one with your phone camera if you have to, although the Career Center often has Linkedin head shot stations at our Career Fairs.
Write a brief but keyword-filled description of your career goals.
Keep your list of positions and companies up to date.
Fill out your skills and projects section with some examples of your work and skills you feel confident in showcasing.
Begin making connections. Maybe you’re a member of a professional organization or club on campus. Add the members to your network. Make friends in classes and add them. On the job, add your coworkers and supervisor (if appropriate).
Endorse other people's skills (to get endorsements yourself). Much like the age-old follow-for-follow Instagram profiles, to get endorsements, you must give endorsements.
Join groups that are relevant to you. My first suggestion: the UMBC student-alumni group!
Check out the Linkedin student job portal. Not only can you filter jobs by qualifications, fields, and locations, but they also have handbooks in the form of free downloadable PDFs to walk you through the job search and interview process.
Want to go further? Look at Linkedin’s guide for students and check out our Career Guide (page 50) for more LinkedIn information.
Keep an eye on the Career Center upcoming events. We hold workshops showing you how to optimize your Linkedin profile, how to use the platform, and networking events to build your connections!