Yes, Everyone Is Doing It, and If You're Not, You're Already Behind
CDC Assistant Director for Employer Relations Courtney Stricklin sings the gospel of LinkedIn and why you should already be on it.
Have you realized yet that you need a LinkedIn account?
Need a couple more reasons why you should?
First, 70% of employers have rejected a job applicant because of unprofessional information they found out about them online. On the other hand, 85% of employers say that a positive online reputation influences their hiring decisions on behalf of a candidate. So your Internet image matters! If that’s not enough, there are over 11,000 Oxy alumni using LinkedIn already, which is an incredibly active network that you could be taking advantage of.
Are you convinced? Great! Take advantage of the last weeks of Summer to finish your profile now, then you won’t be competing with time for studying and homework come Fall classes. And don’t forget to connect with us in the CDC! As a rule, we only accept connections from students who have filled out their profile completely, so use that as a test to make sure you’re ready to build your own professional network.
So, what makes a complete profile?
STEP 1: Professional Photo
Upload a high-quality headshot of your smiling face while wearing professional clothes.
STEP 2: Headline
This is your LinkedIn billboard, so tell everyone who you are! For example, “English Major at Occidental College,” “Research Assistant at Resolution Economics” or “Graduating Occidental senior seeking opportunities in Public Health.”
STEP 3: Custom Link
Set your LinkedIn profile to “public” and claim a unique URL for your profile that includes your name, such as, https://www.linkedin.com/in/courtneystricklin
STEP 4: Summary
This is your answer to the “tell me about yourself” question in an interview. Write a few quick paragraphs highlighting your academic interests, extracurricular involvement, accomplishments, and career goals.
STEP 5: Experience
As in your resume, list your professional experiences (internships, jobs, volunteer activities, campus leadership, etc.) with 3-4 descriptive statements for each. Refer to our resume guide if you’d like help making these descriptions pop.
STEP 6: Education
List Oxy and any other institutions you’ve attended (such as study abroad). Include your major and minor if you have one, as well as highlights of your activities. You don’t have to include your high school unless your school has its own established alumni community with which you want to connect. Be sure to share a high GPA and any honors or awards won in school.
STEP 7: Skills
Use keywords to convey skills you have that an employer could search for (looking at profiles of other people working in your future field is a great way to get ideas about what to include). And take advantage of the LinkedIn feature allowing your connections to endorse your skills, and vice versa.
STEP 8: Other Categories
You can add other fields to highlight projects you’ve completed, languages you speak, honors and awards you’ve received, courses you’ve taken, volunteering and causes, etc.
STEP 9: Connections
Start connecting! Connect with everyone you know – friends, family, neighbors, professors, internship colleagues, and others. Then, search for alumni working in fields of interest. Avoid using the generic message provided by LinkedIn and always write a brief personal note that conveys who you are and why a connection would be meaningful. And don’t upload your address book into LinkedIn, even though you will be prompted to do so. Connection requests are more meaningful and relevant when sought out individually
Dear Mr. Flora,
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me at yesterday’s Speed Networking event here at Oxy. I would appreciate the opportunity to connect with you and hope to learn more about your work in the legal field.
Sincerely, Susan Smith
STEP 10: Groups
Join groups to meet potential connections and explore career interests. You can find groups of professional associations, volunteer organizations, and of course, Oxy alumni.
Feel free to contact the CDC with any questions along the way, or refer to our LinkedIn Guide for more detailed tips. We look forward to connecting with you!
- Phone: (323) 259-2623
- Fax: (323) 341-4900
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Address: AGC 109
1600 Campus Road
Los Angeles, CA 90041 & The Career Corner JSC 134
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