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LinkedIn has become the premier social networking platform to gain insights into employable opportunities and to creatively link an individual’s online resume with an online portfolio. Many individuals believe LinkedIn is for the “older crowd”, for those who already have established careers or who have had experience in the workforce. On the contrary, LinkedIn provides many opportunities, but specifically for the younger generation, it allows students to explore different major related careers and begin to build a portfolio.

Post a Profile Photo 
Don’t just make your profile photo one from Facebook with you and your friends acting like college students. Your LinkedIn photo should include only you and be your professional headshot. Many universities offer free headshots – be sure to ask around your school.

Include Coursework and Extracurriculars
Let recruiters know what classes you are in and all about your work experience. Organize this in a way to directly explain skills learned throughout each internship, job or volunteer position. Include valuable information. Use your knowledge of technology to help build a professional brand.

Show Off Your Schoolwork
Have you done projects in school where you have showcased your design skills, writing abilities? Have you created a report for a group project? Showcase these things on your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn provides an outstanding way to link your entire portfolio to your online resume.

Ask Professors and Advisors for Recommendations
Ask individuals whom you know personally to write recommendations on your LinkedIn profile. This adds credibility to your work experience and shows others appreciate and are thrilled with the work you have done.

Comment on Industry-Specific Articles
Interacting with industry-specific articles shows you are engaged with the industry and with your potential career. LinkedIn members notice comments and posts which include thought provoking questions or insightful comments. Thus, they become interested in your profile.

Look Into Different Career Paths
Research different LinkedIn member’s profiles and look at the path he or she took to get to where you want to be in your career. Not everyone’s first job is their dream job – find best practices to help you move forward with your career.

Check for Spelling and Grammar Errors 
Don’t forget to proofread. Nothing is a bigger turnoff than reading a resume with mistakes. Just look over your work.

Are you ready make your LinkedIn account better than ever, but need a helping hand? The Career Center is holding LinkedIn Open Lab hours today and tomorrow (October 15 and 16) from 2-4pm. Bring your resume and a career consultant or CDI will answer any questions you may have. Hope to see you there!