When I asked my college’s career center for help, I was told to set-up a LinkedIn page and build connections. My humanities friends were given similar advice – but after half-heartedly building a profile and connecting with some of our friends, we basically abandoned it after there were no immediate results in our quests for post-college jobs. However, when properly utilized, LinkedIn is a powerful tool for Millennials and Gen Zers to build their professional network, make connections with other young professionals and build their personal brand.
Make connections without leaving home
The COVID-19 pandemic has made LinkedIn an even more valuable tool for growing your professional network. Since our jobs, education and social life all have become virtual, LinkedIn allows you to continue making professional connections and growing your personal entrepreneurial brand without leaving your home. Finding connections is easy – people are searchable by their occupation, employer and education! You also can follow organizations and companies you are interested in, ranging from news organizations to the entertainment industry to the financial sector.
3 tips for a better LinkedIn presence
With any social media platform, there are unwritten rules about what makes an eye-catching and engaging profile. Here are some tips for helping your profile stand-out!
- Professional headshot: Your profile photo is the first element of your account people will notice, so you want to put your best foot forward. A front-facing headshot makes you look put-together and reliable, so save your fun photos for Facebook! Be sure to wear a professional outfit and have a neutral background.
- Fill in your About section: Don’t leave this section blank or just list your educational background or current job. Personalize it so connections get a sense of who you are, and state your current and future career goals. Bullet points are a great tool to increase readability!
- Post content and engage with your connections: LinkedIn allows users to post and share content just like any other social media site. By creating your own content, you can craft your unique personal brand and foster connections by tagging people with whom you want to connect or foster stronger professional relationships. By commenting on and liking other people’s content, you can further build and cultivate these networks.