By: Rebecca Poling, Account Associate for Consulting
Make your headline clear, concise and understandable. When potential employers look at your profile, this is the first thing they read about you, so make sure you have a brief and accurate headline that explains your current position. I would stick to a maximum of five words for your headline because you don’t want to make it too wordy and confuse potential employers. Some examples are: Student at Penn State University, Intern at General Electric, Public Relations Intern at Kate Spade, Executive Director of THON.
Do not start your profile by saying “I’m looking for an internship…” Start by saying that you are looking for internships in the public relations, digital marketing, and communications fields, for example. Your LinkedIn reflects what an accomplished student you are, so put which fields you are interested in so potential employers know exactly what you want out of your internship. Think about where you want to intern and what you want to accomplish there; this is what you want to put in your profile, but not exactly. You want to put in exactly what you hope to accomplish at an internship, this way employers can see if you’re a right fit for them and if their needs fit yours.
Your LinkedIn should be MORE than just a mini-resume. I can’t emphasize this enough, LinkedIn is so much more than just your profile! Connect, connect, connect! Connecting with people is super easy and it shows that you are interested in them and their company. If you are interested in an internship position and you see that you have mutual connections with someone who works there, use that as a stepping stone and send them a message inquiring about their available internships. This way, they will see your message, respond and then will most likely look at your awesome profile! You could get an internship offer from utilizing your LinkedIn…it has happened! Also, by following different companies on LinkedIn you can keep up with the latest news within the company and possible positions that open up.
Make sure your most important and relevant information comes first. This definitely applies to the “Experiences” section. Organization is key! You had an amazing internship with a big PR firm recently? Put it first in your experiences so this is the first thing potential employers see in this section. Describe your experience very briefly, be concise! Some employers only skim your LinkedIn profile, so make sure what they are skimming is the stuff you want them to see.
Utilize the “Add Media” component and the “Projects” section. Add different samples of your work to the “Add Media” component to your experience section. For example, if you interned for a film agency and you created a video for that internship, upload it so people can see what you have accomplished! You can also add documents, presentations, photos and links to this section. I recommend adding something to each experience because why not show off your skills?! As for the “Projects” section, this lets you add your own personal website to your LinkedIn. Employers love this because it’s clickable and easy to navigate. You could also add a link to your published work if, for example, you were a staff writer for an online magazine. Don’t be afraid to show off your portfolio!