How to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile to Help Your Internship Chances
If you’re a student or individual searching for professional experiences with companies, LinkedIn is the place for you. 💃 LinkedIn is the greatest online networking platform in the world, connecting business professionals with opportunities and connections to others sharing similar interests. 💙 What are the most important features of LinkedIn? How can you best utilize LinkedIn to create an expansive, thriving network with valuable connections that will boost your visibility? Well, if you’re ready, I’m ready, so let’s get started!
🤩 About LinkedIn: Features & Benefits
LinkedIn encompasses many features that collectively build a detailed professional profile for an individual to showcase all of their previous experiences, achievements, and abilities. Let’s explore several of LinkedIn’s features, as well as how you can start!
💡 Starting Out
When you first start on LinkedIn, you may not have many (or any!) experiences or achievements to showcase, or at least, so you think! It can be intimidating to see another individual’s expansive profile that holds many impressive experiences. However, they’ve had more time to create their personal profile, and you have just as much potential if you’re persistent and willing to take the initiative to pursue the same types of experiences.
While you’re working on getting more experiences, you can start by focusing your profile on one or two experiences that you’re proud of! You’re still contributing to the world and making an impact, and everyone should have the opportunity to recognize that when they view your profile!
Let’s check out some of LinkedIn’s most popular (and most used!) features on the profile page.
👋 Profile Banner, Headshot, & Description
This section is arguably the most essential part of your profile because employers, influencers, and everyone else viewing your profile use it to see who you are at first glance. Ensure that you have a professional headshot, a professional and reflective profile banner, and a very concise description to optimize your profile views and overall visibility to the LinkedIn population. Doing this is essential for employers as it will give them a first-glance visual that may determine if they invest more time exploring your profile and achievements.
📈 Your Personal Dashboard
This LinkedIn feature helps you understand the extent to which you’re reaching people! If you have the “Content Creator” feature enabled, you can see more general statistics on people who are visiting your content. Otherwise, you can view the total number of people who have opened your profile or have seen your name in the search bar results.
😊 Your “About” Blurb
The About section helps you define yourself as a professional, explain your passions, and write about anything else you would like to share, including contact information and what you aspire to contribute to the world. Note that anyone reviewing your profile, whether a recruiter or just another curious business professional, won’t want to read a wall of text, so make sure you try to keep your About section either as a short paragraph or bullet points.
All of your experiences, whether professional experiences, internship-related programs, or volunteer work for nonprofit organizations, are equally valuable! These showcase what you’ve already contributed, how you’ve grown, and your impact on the world thus far. With these, statistics or numbers to prove your impact is essential. You’ll also want to keep everything formatted in a bullet-point style to keep it concise, so only the most significant details are relevant. Here’s an example:
Image courtesy of William Wang
💎 Endorsements & Recommendations
The Endorsements area is where anyone can endorse you or deliver a claim in the confidence of a specific skill you might have. These might include leadership skills, hard skills, or other significant attributes and tools you should have or know in the professional field. The Recommendations area is for people to recognize you as someone with very likable skills personally. This area is generally reserved for people you’ve worked closely with for a duration of time.
These areas are fundamental to building your credibility to show that your experiences hold a tangible value and that what you’ve contributed is significant.
🧲 Licenses, Certifications, & Accomplishments
This area provides yet more credibility for yourself as a professional in whatever field you’re either pursuing or currently in. All of the licenses, certifications, and accomplishments show that you’ve achieved something notable and of worth. This area helps you establish your credibility beyond personal recommendations by showing that you’ve either taken the challenge to undergo the process of receiving a license or certification or that an individual or organization has recognized you for your performance, contributions, or something else that’s notable.
🏆 Networking on LinkedIn
Creating a valuable, dependable, and thriving network on LinkedIn involves an initiative from you to reach out to individuals and business professionals. Becoming more involved requires time, dedication, and persistence, as you’ll need to be consistent to develop an active, thriving network on LinkedIn.
There are several ways that you can grow your network on LinkedIn. Below, you can find a couple of several avenues you can take to expand your network.
📞 Reach Out to Individuals Personally
There are many ways that you can connect with individuals. However, suppose you’re getting started, or you want to begin extending your network to more well-known business leaders in various professional industries. In that case, you may need to reach out to these individuals with personalized notes and connection requests. While this may seem intimidating, it is a crucial part. It allows you to develop confidence and valuable communication skills for future interactions while you reach out on LinkedIn.
✏️ Become a Content Creator
Content creation includes posting inspirational posts, videos, pictures, and polls to engage the LinkedIn community. When you become a content creator, there is a Follow button next to your name on all posts that will allow LinkedIn users to follow you for more content. This "certification" can help you grow an active number of individuals engaging with your content and further the extent of your reach on LinkedIn.
🤝🏻 Engage on Others’ Messages
Networking requires building relations with others in the community! By engaging with what other individuals post on LinkedIn, you demonstrate a sense of acknowledgment and activity towards that poster. Doing this allows you to grow more closely with those that are already in your direct network and those in your second and third networks in continuing to build a well-established, thriving engagement reputation from the LinkedIn community.
🌐 Let’s Get Started!
If you’re just about to start, let’s get to it! Whether you have many experiences or just one, each should be just as valuable as you could represent them as “metrics” of your growth! Begin developing your profile with your experiences by utilizing some of the tips above and begin networking. By doing these things, as well as by being an active, consistent member of the community, you’ll be well on your way to creating a thriving network and setting yourself up for future successes!