Building A LinkedIn Profile for More Job Opportunities

Linkedin

Today’s college students face a landscape of great opportunities as employers look to this Millennium generation to infuse bright ideas and energy into their organizations. In recruiting young engineers and scientists at the Department of Energy, I soon discussed a major disconnect between what employers desire from potential employees (i.e. college students), and today’s job seekers’ expectations of employers.

I often spoke on this matter and wrote these discoveries in several formats including articles, books, and lectures. With that said, I believe marketing these concepts are also vital on Bison Hill too. In this discussion, we will examine how an effective LinkedIn.com profile can be utilized to showcase students’ potentials to future employers and increase their personal brand.

Having an online presence is vital for today’s employment opportunities. According to Business2community.com, 427,000 resumes are posted each week on Monster.com, an online job board; 8 million job applicants said they found their job on Twitter.com.  Eighty-nine percent of employment recruiters have hired through LinkedIn.com.

Linkedin-college students

If college students are serious about increasing their job prospects, they need to have a credible profile on LinkedIn. Being the world’s largest online professional network, LinkedIn has more than 467 million members in over 200 countries and territories. In fact, professionals are signing up on LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second.

College students may flock to popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Yet, it is websites like LinkedIn that help them become credible to future employers and build their own personal brand. Setting up a profile is easy. Unlike traditional social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn allows individuals to establish professional networks, obtain needed resources and foster professional relationship with prospective employers, clients and partners.

Students are building strategic partners for their future. Thus, the quality of these contacts is critical. Connecting with the right person can increase career networking opportunities with the basic “Six Degrees of Separation” principle. In 1929, Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy coined the term ‘six degrees of separation.

According to Whatis.techtarget.com, six degrees of separation is the theory that “any person on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that have no more than five intermediaries.” When a person is established on LinkedIn, the individual can see how his/her connections are linked to other influential people.

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To get the most attention on LinkedIn, individuals need to achieve the “All-Star” status. There are 5 levels of profile strength on LinkedIn, namely All-Star, Expert, Advanced, Intermediate, and Beginner. All-Star status is the highest ranking and the most difficult to achieve. Some of the requirements include a completed LinkedIn profile including a professional photo and summary.  Below are some additional strategies to stand out in the crowd on LinkedIn:

  • Submit a professional photo.
  • Create interesting headlines.
  • Write an incredible summary statement.
  • Select a unique LinkedIn URL for your profile.
  • Obtain recommendations from professors, employers, coaches and other influencers who can speak to your character and leadership abilities.
  • Post relevant articles on your LinkedIn profile (i.e. LinkedIn Pulse) that demonstrate your critical thinking and writing style.
  • Upload presentations and written documents that showcase your professional abilities.
  • Follow businesses and organizations that are potential employers or contacts.
  • Join LinkedIn Groups that add to your professional network.

With fierce competition for jobs, college students need to present a good image to future employers. Having a professional online presence will provide an excellent gateway for more employment opportunities. Management guru Tom Peters explains, “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me, Inc.

To be in business today, our most important job is to be the head marketer for the brand called You.” In our online discussion, I demonstrated that an effective LinkedIn profile can be utilized to showcase a student’s potential to future employers and increase his/her personal brand by providing him/her with more career connections.

Creating a profile with an “All-Star” appeal can garnish the more rewarding accomplishments. If individuals take the necessary time to plan their LinkedIn profile, they will have the best chance of success. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Please discuss how you distinguish yourself with others in your personal LinkedIn profile and what makes your profile more attractive to potential employers.

© 2017 by Daryl D. Green

 

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19 thoughts on “Building A LinkedIn Profile for More Job Opportunities

  1. Being able to distinguish yourself from the competition, is always a good start at becoming more attractive to business as a possible future employee. I created a LinkedIn page, so that I could not only separate my personal life from my business life, but also post all of my accomplishments for others to see. As I was creating it I was thinking what can I do to make my page more appealing to others? Green, (2013) “There are plenty of experienced professors, doctors, lawyers, school teachers, and others in the unemployed ranks. Therefore, creating a unique set of skills is a matter of necessity.” You must be able to stand out from the rest, I have listed what skills I have what schools I have attended and my job history. What makes my profile stand out is the fact that I already have uploaded some older videos that I help put together. Also, in the weeks to come I will be uploading more videos. Although I may stand out from some, I still have a long way to go to make my LinkedIn page standout in the way that I want.

    [WC-191]
    Green, D. D. (2013). Writing for Professionals (2nd Edition).

    • Hello Daniel,

      Thanks so much for your considerate thoughts! I would like to explain on your thoughts: “Being able to distinguish yourself from the competition, is always a good start at becoming more attractive to business as a possible future employee. I created a LinkedIn page, so that I could not only separate my personal life from my business life, but also post all of my accomplishments for others to see.”

      I believe that you need to be strategic for future employment. Given this reality, I feel that college students need to project a positive image online. A dynamic LinkedIn profile is one way. Therefore, I encourage all of my students to be achieve “All Star” status.

      All,

      Is it realistic for college students to achieve All Star status on LinkedIn?

      Dr. Green

      • Dr. Green,

        Yes, I believe it is possible for a student to achieve All-Star status. You can only get back what you put in. There will be high reward for the student who puts in a lot of effort to make sure they achieve this level of status on LinkedIn, because they will be viewed more by businesses, potentially higher level businesses that are often harder to be viewed by. If a student puts as much time into their LinkedIn profile as they do other social media, I believe it is possible.

        [WC – 92]

    • Hello Daniel you stated, “Being able to distinguish yourself from the competition, is always a good start at becoming more attractive to business as a possible future employee.” I think this couldn’t be more true, differentiation is key to any employees success. When an employer looks at an employees social media they are looking for what drives that person, and what they can bring to the table. This is even more true with a professional site like LinkedIn. A mindful employee would be wise to network what makes them different and hirable to employers. Forbes elaborates on this by emphasizing the need for a catchy profile,”You don’t want people checking you out and deciding not to connect because your profile is musty, has no photo or just plain turns them off.”

      WC-132
      Sources:
      https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamarruda/2014/10/21/three-simple-steps-to-building-a-powerful-linkedin-network/#469ddacc46a1

  2. Linkedin is a daunting social media platform. Instead of the comical, relaxed flow of Twitter feeds, Linkedin is covered with business professionals and extremely influential people. One of my personal favorite features is the “Ask for an Introduction” feature. There have been times when I’ve wished I could connect with a person only to be a second connection to them. I am then able to message my first connection asking for an introduction to the prospective person! Alison Doyle (2017), a writer for The Balance, writes, “It’s important to be sure that your LinkedIn profile is complete and detailed. In fact, you can consider your LinkedIn profile your online resume.” This is a truth missed by most beginners on Linkedin. Soon you will realize how often you are given the option to just submit your profile. Personally, I believe my most important part of my page is my summary. It’s the first impression of any page visitor, giving them a fresh, updated insight into who I am as a person and a professional.

    Doyle, A. (2017). 9 Simple Tips to Make a Better Linkedin Profile. Retrieved March 29, 2017, from https://www.thebalance.com/tips-to-make-a-better-linkedin-profile-2062332

    [WC – 193]

    • Hello Connelly,

      Thanks for your insight! I have not used “Ask for an Introduction” feature on LinkedIn. I believe it is a good benefit. If you can connect through a trusted source, you will likely make a new connection.

      Dr. Green

  3. It is important for college students to realize that coming out of college the process to be recognized by businesses is tough. Not only is applying for jobs after college tough because thousands of others are doing it too, but also because those businesses are analyzing you critically via your online presence.

    In order to be recognized at the top it is important that these college students take proper steps to ensure that they establish a LinkedIn profile that can reach the All-Star status. I personally believe a college student could successfully achieve this status if they portrayed themselves professionally on LinkedIn equally as they portray themselves on other forms of social media. What I mean by this is that, if one spends a ton of time on social media per day, they should spend equal amounts of time on LinkedIn trying to establish a better professional profile.

    Krista Hill says it best, “The online platform is one of the most prominent ways one can display their personal brand and is a primary location for employers to learn about a potential employee.” If you can understand the importance of online personal branding, then you’ll be more successful.

    [WC – 197]

    Hill, K. M., & Ferris-Costa, K. R. (2016). Improving Students’ Online Presence with a Personal Branding Assignment. Proceedings For The Northeast Region Decision Sciences Institute (NEDSI), 1-15.

    • Hi Zach,

      Thanks for this well stated comment! If students do not spend enough time creating the right online image, they may lose out on the benefits of a good image online. It comes with lots of hard work.

      Dr. Green

    • Hello Zach, you said “I personally believe a college student could successfully achieve this status if they portrayed themselves professionally on LinkedIn equally as they portray themselves on other forms of social media.” I think you bring up a good point, that if people took the same amount of time that they do on other social media sites as they would on developing there professional profile they would have much more success. It’s something to think about, deciding whats important to you and investing time in it. Not only that but to invest time networking on LinkedIn with other professionals, Forbes says this on building a professional network ”This means when someone posts something, talk back to them. Let them know you are reading what they are posting and you are listening to what they want.”

      WC-134
      Sources:
      https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnrampton/2014/09/29/25-ways-to-grow-your-social-media-presence/#ebd277562fbd

    • Zach,

      Great post! You stated, “What I mean by this is that, if one spends a ton of time on social media per day, they should spend equal amounts of time on LinkedIn trying to establish a better professional profile.” This is really good advice. Almost all college students spend a huge amount of time on social media, and if they would direct more of their efforts towards LinkedIn, they could really build their profile. I am guilty of spending too much time on other forms of social media rather than LinkedIn, so I really need to take your advice. As stated by Hempel (2013), “Among recruiters, LinkedIn has become the standard — 88 of the Fortune 100 have licensed the software to help find and track potential job candidates.” This means that a lot of employers are using LinkedIn to find potential employees, so it is very important to build a strong profile.

      HEMPEL, J. (2013). LinkedIn: How It’s Changing Business (AND HOW TO MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU). Fortune, 168(1), 68-1NULL.

      [WC-174]

  4. The quote by Tom Peters really struck a chord with me. “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me, Inc.” It reminds me that even when competing against those who have been in the workforce for years that there is always something that you can offer. “Me Inc.” is your own personal brand and no one has had the same upbringing or life story that you have. I believe that you, Dr. Green, have shown the importance of setting yourself apart from the competition and to be mindful of the intangible factors at play when communicating with business professionals. With such a large pool of candidates for jobs newly grads will need every advantage. the website collegerecruiter.com also provides some ways to set yourself apart from the competition. “Focus on how your skills fit what they are looking for and then, craft short stories (examples) of how your skills will meet their needs. These stories must be true and focused on how you are going to really add value to the organization.”

    WC-198
    https://www.collegerecruiter.com/blog/2013/05/24/set-yourself-apart-in-a-job-interview/

  5. LinkedIn is a great professional platform for college students and those in the workforce to get connected. I just created my profile last semester and have been making new connections ever since. Some ways I distinguish my profile are that I used a professional picture of myself and added information about my education and work experience. Thanks to Dr. Green, I have also posted several articles to my page that I believe help to enhance it. As stated by Paliszkiewicz (2016), “LinkedIn presents information about a user that viewers can use to make judgments about the source, such as their credibility, trustfulness, social and professional attractiveness.” Therefore, it is important to make your profile as appealing as possible.

    PALISZKIEWICZ, J., & MĄDRA-SAWICKA, M. (2016). Impression Management in Social Media: The Example of LinkedIn. Management (18544223), 11(3), 203-212.

    [WC-138]

  6. Hello McKenzie,

    Thanks for your personal testimony of the power of networking via LinkedIn! You got a great start with this platform in building your professional image.
    I can’t wait to see more!

    Professor Green

  7. Social media has become one of the most important “tool” for our generation. Especially LinkedIn.com gives us job seekers but also employers the option to find out who would be a great fit.
    Throughout this semester I have learned that trustability and likability are key elements in sales. Generally, LinkedIn.com makes it so comfortable for both parties to create a platform to connect. According to Schmitt (2010) who argues “Companies of all kinds acknowledge that their customers are important; that customers are the most valuable asset.”This kind of relationship between consumer and customer is extremely important because we all look in life for connections in order to be successful. Shared interests and perspectives attract us and gives us identities, which would eventually end up in a great (business)- relationships. LinkedIn.com is the best platform to find the right option because it makes it easier to connect compared to previous times.

    (WC-150)

    Schmitt, B. H. (2010). Customer experience management: A revolutionary approach to connecting with your customers. John Wiley & Sons.

    • Hi Michael,

      Thanks for your unique points! I like the fact that you understand that with networking mechanisms like LinkedIn, an individual can build trust in his/her profession.
      Dr. Green

    • You stated: “Social media has become one of the most important “tool” for our generation. Especially LinkedIn.com gives us job seekers but also employers the option to find out who would be a great fit.” I agree completely. In a world of social media, we are all forced to adapt to its convenience. This past semester, I have spent much time on Linkedin searching for an internship opportunity. The site has been more than helpful in setting up job alerts, recommending applications in regards to my tastes, and even allowing me to easily apply with the “LinkedinApply” button. This sends all of your “online resume” to the employer, nice and easy! Alison Doyle (2017) writes, “It’s important to be sure that your LinkedIn profile is complete and detailed.” This is ultimately because employers need your information up-to-date and are more than thankful if they don’t need to request further information.

      Doyle, A. (2017). 9 Simple Tips to Make a Better Linkedin Profile. Retrieved April 1, 2017, from https://www.thebalance.com/tips-to-make-a-better-linkedin-profile-2062332

      [WC – 168]

  8. Social media has become the most popular way for people to stay in touch or even to get in contact for the first time. LinkedIn is a wonderful example of this, but provides a more professional purpose. In order for this to be of benefit to one who desires to connect with potential future employers, they must do their best to make their profile one that stands apart from the crowd. Jane Heifetz states (2015), “Use images and media samples to draw attention to your most impressive accomplishments. Add them only to the positions you want your new profile readers to focus on.” There are clearly many advantages that come with adding to a profile’s aesthetic, however, it should also be noted that one must be sparing just as Heifetz mentioned to draw attention only to the desired things. Having a LinkedIn profile is something that most everyone should take advantage of as it provides countless opportunities for those searching for employment, but it is imperative that they know how to do it well.

    Heifetz, J. (2015). How to Use Your LinkedIn Profile to Power a Career Transition. Harvard Business Review Digital Articles, 2-5.

    [WC-174]

  9. LinkedIn is such a great tool for students to use to distinguish themselves while searching for potential jobs. With over 467 million users, a person has to come up with ways to stand out on the site. College is the prime time to put oneself out into the workforce as a new, eager individual who is ready to make a difference. By posting articles on LinkedIn, I can see myself standing out from some of the other users on the site. Having a nice picture, as well as listing previous and current jobs/internships, also helps me stand out. Butow and Taylor (2008) pointed out, “LinkedIn offers subscribers a remarkably fast way to grow their networks.” If you want to stand out on LinkedIn, you will have to work hard to be different from everyone else’s page and be willing to grow your network.

    Butow, E., & Taylor, K. (2008). Chapter 1: Using LinkedIn to Your Advantage. In , How to Succeed in Business Using LinkedIn: Making Connections & Capturing Opportunities on the World’s #1 Business Networking Site (pp. 1-11). American Management Association International.

    [WC-184]

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