As most of you may know, LinkedIn has become the world’s largest professional network, which is why everyone should take advantage of this great networking tool.  The important thing to remember is that it is never too early or too late to create a profile on LinkedIn, but the sooner you do, the better!  If you are unsure of where to begin, keep reading for some great tips on how to get started on LinkedIn – the right way!

            As the name of this social media network suggests, LinkedIn is NOT Facebook.  One of the most common mistakes that young professionals make is that they treat LinkedIn and Facebook as the same thing.  Facebook exists so you can keep in touch with friends and family.  LinkedIn, on the LinkedInother hand, exists so that you can connect with people who will actually help you advance in your professional career.  When connecting with people on LinkedIn, always be sure to ask yourself why exactly you are connecting with them before you accept or invite them to connect with you.

            Another common mistake young professionals can make involves their profile picture.  This picture is the first thing potential employers will see when they look up your profile so it is very important that you make a good first impression – even before you meet them!  In your profile picture, you should be wearing professional dress with a professional background.  Young professionals should also be aware that they should include all previous work and volunteer experiences in their LinkedIn profile.  You never know what experiences employers are looking for, so it is important to make your profile as versatile as possible.

            It is no surprise that LinkedIn is one of the first social media sites employers will use to research potential candidates for a position in their company because LinkedIn allows your previous and current employers to “endorse” you directly on the site, meaning that they can recommend you for various skills and even write you a reference letter.  Once you create your profile, you can also upload any projects you have completed throughout your education and work experience.  This allows potential employers to see that you really do have the experience necessary to benefit their company or organization. 

            If you would like more information or if you have any questions, stop by the LinkedIn Information Session and Workshop hosted by ’94 Alum and Senior Recruiter at Paypal Kevin Dunn on Tuesday, February 4 in the O’Hara Dining Hall from 5 to 7 P.M.  Pizza will be served and come dressed for a FREE professional photo for your networking profile.  Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to start or improve your LinkedIn profile!