At the beginning of my freshman year of college (in business school), one of the first things my professors told my class was create a LinkedIn. At the time, I had probably heard of LinkedIn, but really didn’t know what it was for or what it did. That year I did make a LinkedIn profile (I had to for a project, otherwise I may not have made one).

After creating my LinkedIn, I rarely used it. I didn’t post anything, write articles, or do anything beyond list my past jobs/experiences. Now that I am a bit older, and on the search for my very first, real job, LinkedIn is one of my closest colleagues. During my junior year, while on the hunt for an internship, I was constantly on LinkedIn, whether I was searching marketing internships or attempting to grow my network.

Here I am, in my senior year and I think I have a much better idea of what LinkedIn can do. This summer I had an internship in Chicago. Myself and the other interns got the opportunity to go to the LinkedIn office and learn about all LinkedIn can do. Those few hours had such an impact on my LinkedIn. Immediately following our meeting and the presentation I went to town on my LinkedIn profile. I changed my picture, background photo, and began revamping every detail of my profile.

The main things I have come to understand and appreciate about LinkedIn and in creating the ultimate professional profile are fairly simple.

  • actually have a picture
  • put your personality and skills into your summary
  • share articles, your thoughts, etc.
  • if you are searching for a job, make sure you let recruiters know that (you can change that in the settings)
  • actually go on the site or use the app (seems obvious, but it took me about 2 years to finally go on LinkedIn frequently)

I have benefited from the work I put into my profile. Recruiters have reached out to me, I have built a solid network, and I feel a little more in tune with the business world. Beyond that, I enjoy updating my profile. It provides room for more creativity than your standard resume, and with everything being online these days, LinkedIn is pretty dang important.

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