LinkedIn is so much more than a professional social media site where you can just post a resume. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t had a job yet. You can still create a LinkedIn profile with a resume of the grades or subjects you’re taking in school plus all the extracurricular activities and clubs you participate in. You can also list skills these extracurricular activities and clubs have given you such as teamwork, public speaking or event planning.
If you have a club leader, coach or former employer who has their own profiles on LinkedIn, you can connect with them as well as fellow students the same way you connect with friends on Facebook. On your profile, there is also a section where you can ask for recommendations. This allows people who know you - like a teacher, sports coach or former boss - to write a short blurb about how wonderful you are as a person and what your strengths are.
As I said, LinkedIn is more than just a place where you post your resume. You can also join groups. Being associated with certain groups that reflect your interests will make your online resume far stronger. Let’s say you want to be a camp counsellor. You’ll want to be a member of LinkedIn groups that are connected to working in a camp. I did a simple search and these are the groups that came up:
Now that you’ve connected with people you have worked with and joined groups relevant to the profession that interests you, it’s time to integrate your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Tumblr accounts. You can add links to these social media sites in your profile so future employers can see how your other online profiles fit your online resume. This connects who you are on your resume with all your other online activities to create a fuller picture for your future employers. Even before the interview begins, you’ve given examples of how awesome you are and why you’re worth hiring.
My next post will be more personal. I’ll go over some of the things I wish I had known before I went to university. I can’t promise any tears, but there will be a few laughs!