Professionals, job seekers, recruiters, hiring managers, and entrepreneurs all use LinkedIn. It is the #1 way that recruiters find job candidates today. That is why it is so important to create and maintain a professional and successful LinkedIn account. Take these tips and tricks into account in order to develop your professional network on LinkedIn.
 
Name: Include your full name, first and last, on your LinkedIn page. Don’t use nicknames because they are unprofessional.
 
Profile Picture: Your LinkedIn profile picture should be a professional headshot. Don’t use a picture of you at a school dance, on the beach, or with your significant other. Also, make sure it’s not blurry.
 
Professional Headline: The professional headline is the 120 characters right below your name. Its object is to get people to click on and view your profile. You want to briefly describe your current role and occupation and highlight your skills and expertise. 
 
Summary: Your summary should build upon your professional headline and include more detail about who you are, your experience, your awards, and your career goals. This can either be written in first or third person – just pick one and stick with it.
 
Customized URL: You have the option to create a customized URL for your LinkedIn page. Make sure it is professional – most people use their name. Include your LinkedIn URL on your resume.
 
Keywords: Pay attention to keywords. Employers often search for candidates by using keywords, so include as many as possible in order to be easily found by recruiters.
 
Be Detailed: Include as much information as possible on your LinkedIn page. Describe your work experience, education, volunteering, and skills in detail - the more information, the better!
 
Be Engaged: After creating an account, check in regularly to update your account, make new connections, and keep up to date on your feed.
 
Follow: Follow influencers, such as Mark Cuban, companies, groups, and schools that interest you. If you can’t find the follow button on a page, click the three little dots to the right of the company or organization’s name. Everything you follow appears in the “Interests” section of your LinkedIn page.
 
Connections: Connect with family, friends, classmates, coworkers, bosses, etc. The purpose of LinkedIn is to allow you to meet other people and network in a professional, online setting.  It is perfectly acceptable to connect with people whom you do not know on LinkedIn. When connecting with someone you don’t know, send a customized message and explain why you would like to connect.
 
Export Connections: You can download a file that contains all your connections’ contact information. This is a great way to keep it all in one place; if something happens to your LinkedIn account, you will still have access to all of your contacts’ information.
 
Join Groups: Join groups of interest to you. If you’re a senior, request to join the Mount St. Mary’s University Alumni Group. This is a great way to connect with Mount alumni and reach out to them for career assistance.
 
Endorsements: Add skills that you possess, not ones that you wish or hope to possess in the future. Connections will endorse you for the skills that you list – make sure to send them a “thank you” afterwards and endorse them in return.
 
Recommendations: Ask connections to write you a recommendation. If applicable, write them a good recommendation in return.
 
Post Positive Content: Everything you do on LinkedIn should be positive – every like, comment, and post should be constructive and optimistic. Avoid all negativity because this will reflect badly on you.
 
Privacy Settings: You can choose to remain private when viewing people’s profiles. If you remain public, this increases your chances of connecting with others.
 
Let Recruiters Know You’re Available: On your dashboard, you have the option to let recruiters know you are available under “Career Interests.” You can write a note to recruiters and describe your job search status, potential start date and title, location, type of job, industry, and company size that you are interested in.
 
The Career Center hosts LinkedIn Workshops to educate students on how to create and use LinkedIn. The next LinkedIn Workshop will be held on Monday, March 19th at 4pm in the Career Center Seminar Room and will be led by Jillian Ellis. Join us for this event or stop by to chat about more LinkedIn tips and tricks. And don’t forget to connect with us on LinkedIn @MSMU’s Career Center!