How to spruce up your LinkedIn profile during your job search

By: Claire Bang

As a soon to be college graduate, the job hunt becomes a huge part of your final semester. While some of your classmates may find jobs quickly, you might find yourself struggling to figure out what you can do to improve your appearance as a qualified candidate. 

LinkedIn is one of the many free resources you have access to as a soon-to-be professional in the workplace. A profile is something that is easily customizable and can help you stand out from other candidates. In an article from LinkedIn themselves, they give you some of their main pointers on how to give your profile the makeover it deserves.

Make your headline more than just a job title

This stands out for many of us soon-to-be graduates simply because not all of us currently have jobs. Instead of writing that you’re a student at Chico State, you can alter it to display what works for you or a desired position. An example of this is “Aspiring Marketing and PR Specialist.” This allows you to be found easier when recruiters are searching for certain positions. That’s because even if you don’t currently hold the position they’re looking to hire someone for, they’ll be able to find your profile because it has the desired position listed.

If you’ve got the skills, show them off

LinkedIn currently offers more than 80 different assessments for technical, business and design skills. They offer anything from Google Analytics to Microsoft Word and so much more. These allow employers to quickly identify who has the skills they’re looking for before even needing to click on your profile.

Customize your profile with a great banner photo

We all know the first impression comes with having a professional profile image to show who you are, but another really easy way is to create your own banner showing your personality. If you need some help figuring out where to start, look to Canva where you can get creative by messing around with their templates. For me personally, my banner connects back to my professional website and matches the messaging and colors that someone would see in my online portfolio.

If you’ve got the skills, show them off

LinkedIn currently offers more than 80 different assessments for technical, business and design skills. They offer anything from Google Analytics to Microsoft Word and so much more. These allow employers to quickly identify who has the skills they’re looking for before even needing to click on your profile.

Let your personality shine through

Besides letting your personality shine through in your banner, you can also use the about section on your profile to talk about your aspirations. As a soon to be college graduate, I’ve made sure that mine includes a place where I talk about what I’m doing until I graduate. You can include items such as what you’re learning and how you’ve applied it. Mine also includes the kind of team I want to work with and how I want to help a company grow. Be creative with it, because if you’ve already followed the above steps, then this is one of the next places an employer or recruiter would look.

Ensure your experience highlights your accomplishments

This is a spot where an employer has the opportunity to see what you brought to the table in your past experiences. Instead of saying things like, “Responsible for increasing sales within the company,” use specific examples such as, “Increased company sales by 8% throughout 2020.” If you’ve worked a management position you can talk about things like how many team members you onboarded. Treat your profile as a place where you can list your highest accomplishments instead of a place to list mundane job duties.

Show your passion for learning outside of school

LinkedIn offers learning courses where you can further your education on topics you may not learn inside the classroom. They also release up-to-date courses with all the new industry knowledge. Most of the courses give you the opportunity to add a course certificate to your profile after you’ve completed a course. Some of my favorite courses are Crisis Communication, Resume Makeover, Google Ads Essential Training and Learning to Be Promotable.

Now more than ever, it’s important to make sure you are creating an impression on LinkedIn that shows you’re passionate about what you do and what you can bring to a team that is unique to you. The job hunt may seem long and daunting but I promise, you have every tool you could need to set you up for success in your career.

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