As an intern with Intero Advisory last summer, I had some great exposure to LinkedIn and all the platform has to offer for college students.
With this new exposure, I decided that this past winter was a good time to update my LinkedIn Profile. I had gained a lot of great skills that could be added to my Profile since the last time I had updated it.
Have you thought about updating your Profile recently? If not, let this post be a guide for you, especially if you are a student who is just beginning to gain experience.
The first thing I did before updating my profile was make a note of who I could contact and what information I should change.
Who to contact
First, I reached out to previous and current employers and co-workers to request their advice for improving my summaries and descriptions. I asked them the following questions:
- What do you think I do well at my job?
- What traits of mine do you admire?
- Where do you think my talents are useful?
This feedback helped me construct write-ups that communicated my job responsibilities along with my strengths. Then, in my summaries and descriptions, I incorporated both my talents and my interests, to give viewers an idea of which job positions or industries I may fit into.
I also contacted mentors, such as teachers and career advisors, for their help. These people provided great insight because they know what my motivations and abilities are. They gave suggestions of professionals to Connect with and careers I might enjoy. Reaching out to all of these people was also beneficial in maintaining a relationship with each of them.
What to update
There are so many pieces to a LinkedIn Profile. This is the outline I used when updating my Profile. It may help you navigate your personal page more easily.
- Experience + Job Descriptions
I reflected on my job experience, including my most recent position. In my description, I talked about my responsibilities and what I learned in each position.
- Profile Summary
Drawing from my Experience section, I wrote about my abilities and skills in different areas. I used this area to “sell” myself on LinkedIn, but also to describe my goals and interests.
Next, I used keywords from the above sections to create an accurate Headline. (Intero uses wordle.net to pinpoint the most prevalent words in a profile.)
- Endorsements and/or Recommendations
I endorsed several of my Connections (I found this is easy to do while waiting in line at Starbucks). This motivated some to return the favor, which built up my Profile with a list of skills. Remember, only endorse people for skills that you know that they have.
A recommendation takes more thought and time, but shows viewers who I’ve worked with and what I’ve accomplished. I offered to exchange recommendations with a Connection, which strengthened both of our Profiles.
- Finally, you can update your volunteer experience, projects, or awards, depending on their importance to you. After taking these steps, I found my Profile to be much stronger and reflective of my career interests and abilities.
Whether you are a student searching for your first internship or a professional looking for more Connections, frequently updating your LinkedIn Profile is an important step in being visible on LinkedIn and leveraging your network. I hope this post has helped to motivate you to look at your LinkedIn Profile and make updates accordingly.
About the author:
Ali Barzyk joined Intero Advisory as an intern in the summer of 2014. Ali is a student athlete at the University of Michigan, preparing to enter her second year. And now she’s back at Intero, applying the same focus and determination she has on the field and in the classroom to our LinkedIn training and educational initiatives. Keep an eye out for this business and marketing dynamo, who’s sure to take the world by storm with her creativity and leadership!