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PSM Presents: Career Lunch – Level-up Your LinkedIn Profile!

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This afternoon, students pursuing their Master of Business and Science (MBS) degree had a golden opportunity, as MBS assistant director and executive coach Abbe Rosenthal, MA, PCC, shared incredibly valuable tips for how students can structure their LinkedIn profiles to increase their visibility and their marketability. 

 Presenting Your Best Self on LinkedIn

A solid LinkedIn profile should include a professional-looking photo, a headline, and a concise summary of your relevant skills and experience(s). Rosenthal reviewed all elements of a LinkedIn profile from the top down, step by step:

  1. PROFILE PICTURE
  2. HEADLINE
  3. SUMMARY
  4. EXPERIENCE
  5. CONNECTIONS & NETWORKING
  6. ADDING VALUE

 

STEP 1:  PUT YOUR BEST FACE FORWARD! INCLUDE A PROFILE PICTURE

Did you know that LinkedIn members with profile photos receive 40 times more views than profiles that do not feature photos? Here’s how to select the perfect image:

· DO: Select a professional-looking photo. If you have a professional headshot, use it. Further, the picture should feature one person, only: you.

· DON’T forget your audience—hiring managers. Remember that awesome pic of you playing volleyball on a beach? Save it for Facebook or Instagram.

The summary, especially, helps recruiters and hiring managers quickly find and scan your profile to determine whether or not you would be a good fit for their companies. Rosenthal shared the following tips for how to build a solid, attractive profile from top to bottom; she also offered suggestions for how to successfully network, engage with your current connections, and expand your professional network.

 

STEP 2:  CREATE A VIVID, COMPELLING HEADLINE

Choose Your Words Carefully: A headline serves as the introduction to your profile. Especially when you are applying for jobs, you need a solid headline that employs applicable, descriptive, well-strategized keywords. (More on keywords below.) Further, a descriptive headline will allow LinkedIn’s AI-driven applicant tracker and networking software to list your profile in the “People You May Know” section and increase the likelihood that your profile gets right in front of headhunters, recruiters, or any sort of hiring manager—all of which further increases your visibility to other LinkedIn users.

Back to Keywords: They are essential. It is critical to select words that are likely to turn up in searches. See below:

 

STEP 3:  CREATE A COMPREHENSIVE, CONCISE, AND APPLICABLE SUMMARY

Recruiters look at your summary to determine if you’re a fit for their company. Summaries need to be info-dense yet concise (about 40 to 100 words, maximum), and should capture your applicable, relevant experiences. Think of your summary as your elevator pitch; it needs to be targeted, captivating, and to-the-point.

 Your Summary Should Reflect: 

  1. WHERE YOU CAME FROM: (i.e..) Your background, relevant experience(s), and applicable skills 
  2. WHERE YOU ARE NOW: (i.e..) Your current job or job situation, and /or your current responsibilities. And, finally,
  3. WHERE YOU WANT TO GO: (i.e..) Your career goals and aspirations 

 

STEP 4:  HIGHLIGHT YOUR EXPERIENCE

Listing your experiences can greatly increase your profile views and overall visibility. Experiences to showcase can include:

· Work Experiences and Experiential Learning: Externships, co-ops, internships, and full-time or part-time positions

· Academic Projects: Research projects or practicums

· Volunteerism: Clubs, professional associations, and groups with which you are (or were) associated and involved--student groups, community groups, etc.

· Technical Skills: Your proficiency using certain tools, models, software, and techniques

· Soft Skills: NOTE: Communication remains the number one requested skill among all employers in every industry. Other key skills include leadership, project management, problem-solving, cross-functional teamwork, and interdisciplinary collaboration

In addition, by listing your skills and experiences as mentioned above, you are giving potential employers and current connections insight into your personal values and the transferable skills you possess—such as communication, leadership, teamwork, problem- solving—which is valuable.

*IMPORTANT REMINDER*:  You should update your skills each semester after completing your coursework. 

 

STEP 5:  BUILD YOUR NETWORK BY FINDING CONNECTIONS

Expand your horizons! Building connections expands your overall network, which, in turn (and predictably), can expand your number of profile views and, accordingly, expand the number of potential job opportunities.

LinkedIn is a fantastic networking platform to connect with MBS alumni who may already be working in your current or desired industry.

What are the three levels of connections on LinkedIn?

· 1st degree: People to whom you’re directly connected because you have accepted their invitation to connect, or they have accepted your invitation.

· 2nd degree: People who are connected to your 1st-degree connections. You’ll see a “2nd degree” icon next to their names.

· 3rd degree: People who are connected to your 2nd-degree connections. You’ll see a “3rd degree” icon next to their names.

 

Other ways to connect:
 

Join Groups: LinkedIn groups / LinkedIn associations have some great platforms to connect with industry professionals and alumni. Current MBS students can even use the “Rutgers MBS Alumni” LinkedIn page and the “Rutgers MBS Students” LinkedIn page—both are helpful in building relationships and networking with other students, industry mentors, and alumni who were once in your shoes

Follow Influencers: Following influencers is a very helpful way to make connections, says Rosenthal. So what are “influencers?”

By definition, “LinkedIn Influencers are selected by invitation only and comprise a global collective of 500+ of the world's foremost thinkers, leaders, and innovators. As leaders in their industries and geographies, they discuss newsy and trending topics such as the future of higher education, the workplace culture at Amazon, the plunge in oil prices, and the missteps of policymakers.”

By interacting and following various influencers, it can help increase your profile visibility and personal brand. Some strategies for how to follow influencers include: Searching Companies →Searching People in those Companies → Connecting with the followers of those company contacts
 

STEP 6:  ADD VALUE AND ENGAGE

Once you have your profile nicely set up, USE IT! Be active and engage with others on LinkedIn.

Tips To Engage and Increase Profile Visibility

· Join LinkedIn groups

· Like and share posts and updates. Sharing other people’s posts is important because it not only indicates that their information or messages resonate with you, but you are also spreading the author’s message for others. 

· Add Value by “Doing For Others.” For example: this could mean writing testimonials for a fellow classmate or coworker with whom you worked on a group project--you can detail and explain how you feel that individual exemplified leadership and/or exhibited leadership qualities. 

Before the session wrapped, students had a chance to test out their elevator speeches through the following exercise:

The event concluded with Rosenthal giving an enthusiastic call to action: Go out and do something with the information you just learned!

Rosenthal reminded the audience of the benefits available to MBS students, including access to LinkedIn Learning and JobScan. For any questions or more information, contact Abbe at abbe.rosenthal@rutgers.edu.

Author(s): 
PSM Editorial Staff
Published On: 
09/14/2021