I often get asked what tips I have for students just starting to use LinkedIn or wanting to leverage it more effectively to help them find a job. The first thing I always say is to remember that the majority of the time employers will Google you when they are evaluating you as a candidate. Not only that, but professionals are very likely to look you up on LinkedIn before they meet with you. This has become so frequent that LinkedIn has really transformed into your reputation, not just a online resume. It is a one stop shop for someone that wants to find professional information about you. I strongly recommend that you at least follow these basic guidelines for your LinkedIn profile.
1. Use a professional picture- A picture of just you, that clearly shows your face, in attire that represents the dress standards of your industry, or the industry you'd like to be in.
2. Put your work experience up your profile- Add any work experience that is relevant to your goals and make sure their is enough information that people can easily understand what it was you actually did.
3. Create a custom URL- This creates a shorter URL for your profile that will be easier to share and will improve the ranking of your profile in Google search results. Click here to learn how to set it up.
4. Do not connect with people you do not know- LinkedIn should be a online reflection of real relationships, do not connect with people that you do not know.
5. When you add a connection, send them a personal message- When you add someone as a connection, it gives you the option to send them a personal message. Take the chance to reconnect.
Below I've embedded a 10 minute long video that goes into more detail. My classmate Elizabeth Hilton interviewed me for the Marriott MBA Today show, which is a student run program where BYU MBA students do interviews with different people about topics relevant to our MBA students.