March 6, 2020
There are more than 350,000 ASU students and alumni connected to Arizona State University on LinkedIn. Regardless of how far along Sun Devils are in their college journey, students and experts agree the online networking tool is a high-impact asset for professionals of all ages and stages of their career.
College students are encouraged to create a LinkedIn page even before they graduate and land that first job and benefit from more time to grow their network and find local and long-distance career opportunities.
LinkedIn is also a great place to conduct career-based research, informational interviews and stay up-to-date on what is happening in your industry of choice.
With spring graduation around the corner, ASU Student Life asked two experts for their advice for how Sun Devils can leverage LinkedIn in college and beyond.
ASU senior Ashley Hew, who is double-majoring in management and marketing, has been both a peer mentor for ASU’s Career and Professional Development Services and a student worker in marketing for the W. P. Carey School of Business. She knows how to make the best of ASU career resources such as career fairs, Handshake and more and already has a job lined up after graduation. Hew, along with Jenna Figaro, a career and industry specialist from ASU’s Career and Professional Development Services shared their insight, tips and tricks to get started and make the most of your LinkedIn profile.
Question: Why do you think it is important to create an online professional presence through LinkedIn?
Hew: LinkedIn is a great business tool college students can use to connect with professionals in their area or desired job field. It is important to create a professional online presence so that companies can research their potential candidates. This platform will give people the opportunity to create a Facebook-like page but only for their professional accolades and their resume highlights and endorsements.
Figaro: We live in an increasingly digital world; it is highly likely that an employer will search for you. So there are two benefits of having that LinkedIn page.
One, when an employer searches for you, hopefully the first thing that they find will be your professional presence rather than your personal social media sites. Two, your resume is typically only one page … so through utilizing LinkedIn it allows you to showcase more of your experiences.
Q: How would you recommend using LinkedIn? Do you have any advice for a LinkedIn newbie?
Hew: When setting up a LinkedIn profile, never go halfway! Put all of your relevant work experience, add your skills that are universal, but also highlight ones that will make you stand out.
Add a public business-professional headshot and start adding connections. This platform is not to share excess amounts of pictures or highlight your day but more to showcase how much of a professional you are and what interests you have.
For example, you can “follow” brands or companies on LinkedIn and anyone who looks at your profile can see your interests. This will make it even easier to find relevant connections and articles or ideas that are targeted to what you are looking for in the job world.
Figaro: Make sure you have a professional headshot. Having a professional photo does not have to be complicated. You just need a friend to take a photo of you from shoulders up, in front of a blank background, wearing professional clothing.
Be intentional with what you include in your “About” section. Talk about what you’re studying, if you're a current student, what kind of experience you have and what kinds of opportunities you're looking for. All of that is really helpful in saying who you are as a professional.
Anything you have on your resume, go ahead and list on your LinkedIn. Use this as your online resume. Include those skills, include that education. And if you have previous supervisors who could provide you with a LinkedIn recommendation, ask them!
Q: How can you get your LinkedIn page in front of recruiters and employers?
Figaro: You can actually let recruiters know you’re open and looking for opportunities. There is a feature on your profile that you can turn on and it will allow for your page to show up in those search options. This will show that your profile is active and that you’re looking for opportunities.
Another way you can showcase that on your profile is by including it in your header. So, when looking at your profile you’ll have your name, but you’ll also have that title. If you’re looking for an opportunity you can always state that within your title.
Be sure to be very intentional to include that you are searching within the “About” section of your profile. Include who you are as a professional in the “About” section. But also, if you’re looking for opportunities, state that, and state what kind of opportunities you’re looking for.
Q: Many people find the idea of starting a Linkedin page to be rather daunting. What advice do you have for those who have not yet created a LinkedIn page?
Figaro: Absolutely, starting a LinkedIn page can definitely be daunting, especially because it is a professional page.
We do have quite a few online resources on our website that go through how to develop your LinkedIn and why it's important. We also have a YouTube page with resources on developing your LinkedIn profile. I would also encourage you, if you are completely unsure of where to start, to schedule an appointment with us.
Q: In what ways would you recommend engaging on the Linkedin platform to see an increase in the visibility of your profile?
Figaro: The more active you are, the more of an increase in engagement you will see on your profile. So share articles, share projects you’ve worked on, share current news in the industry you are interested in.
The way the algorithm works on LinkedIn, if you share something, then the people in your network begin to like it. Then the people in their network will see what you shared. People you are not even connected to are going to be seeing your content.