LinkedIn is an important social media platform to use, especially as a college student. LinkedIn allows you to showcase what you have accumulated over the four years of education. It is your own online resume and employers take it seriously.
That is why having a polished LinkedIn profile is so essential. I have attended many info sessions on LinkedIn and even went to the LinkedIn tour. Here is an accumulated list of what I learned you should do and not do with your LinkedIn account.
USE THE ALUMNI NETWORK TO YOUR BENEFIT
There is this cool feature on LinkedIn that when you go to your school you can search their alumni database. You are even able to filter the alumni based on what career keywords are on their profile. By using the alumni network you can search for people how have that dream job or internship you've been wanting. Reach out them and ask for some advice. 9 times out of 10 they will be willing to help you. They were in your shoes once before.
ESTABLISH WHAT YOU WANT AHEAD OF TIME
Use the headline portion of your profile to put "Aspiring _______." This will allow potential employers to see what you are looking for. Plus, it will make you look more goal-oriented that you know what you want.
PUT DESCRIPTIONS UNDER EVERY EXPERIENCE
Even if your experience is being a cashier at a fast food place, you can still use keywords like "customer service" and "money management." Any experience deserves a description. Putting descriptions allows employers to see what you are capable of. They won't be able to determine that you are a right fit if you leave the description section blank.
USE A CELLPHONE PIC AS YOUR PROFILE PICTURE
Not only does this look sloppy, but it looks unprofessional too. A lot of colleges offer free LinkedIn picture days. Go to your career center and inquire some information or get a friend who has a nice camera to take your picture. Make sure you look like you are going to an interview at a Fortune 500 company. By having a professional profile picture, it will show employers how serious you are about landing a career.
INVITE TO CONNECT WITHOUT LEAVING A MESSAGE
If you invite someone to connect you want to make sure you are taking that extra minute or so to leave a nice little message. By doing so it will make the connection more personable and professional. By leaving something like "I saw you went to _____ I did too!" I guarantee your connection will be a more valuable networking opportunity and a lot more productive.