How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

I recently learned how useful LinkedIn is when my supervisor from an internship nearly two years ago reached out to me about a position at her current organization, which is not where I originally interned for her. She saw that I was graduating in January and was interested in nonprofit work and she emailed me to talk about possibilities after reading through my experiences since working with her. Because my LinkedIn profile was up to date and thorough, an opportunity fell into my lap. Use this article as a guide to optimizing your space on LinkedIn so you can find opportunities and connections that lead to employment.

The “Summary” section is the perfect place to describe your interests, especially as a college student who is looking for jobs. Use this section as an opportunity to describe what type of work you are looking for after graduation and how your studies are preparing you for your field of interest.

In the “Experience” section, make sure it looks clean and organized upon first glance at your profile. One way to do this is by keeping the descriptions of each experience roughly the same in length. Make sure you focus on specific duties you had during each experience and how those duties helped you develop or improve upon hard skills. Soft skills will be implied if you describe your hard skills well. For example, if you were an editor and in three months you edited hundreds of documents of various types, it is implied that you are versatile and have the ability to organize and prioritize your work.

Use your LinkedIn profile to include relevant experiences that you had to cut from your résumé to satisfy a page limit. LinkedIn is a place to expand on the wide variety of experiences you have had. Lastly, connect to people at your school, people from your past internships, and people in your field. Widening your network of connections will open opportunities for you to reach out to potential employers and for them to reach out to you.

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