Anyone taking my classes over the past eight years knows I often get on a soapbox about the importance of their LinkedIn profiles. A great profile gets noticed and helps launch your career. I also set a goal of 500+ connections before graduation, but only one in three usually reach that benchmark number.
Last week, I shared my LinkedIn point of view with Miami University students during their 3-week “Inside Chicago” course that includes visits to corporations, agencies and this week’s PRSA Chicago breakfast. Within 48 hours of their visit, 12 of 15 Miami students followed through with LinkedIn requests. Each and every connection request came with a personalized message, not the generic LinkedIn language. And several are well on their way to 500+ connections. #Impressive
Recognizing the importance of LinkedIn, DePaul’s PRSSA chapter meeting last night featured career specialist Michael Elias, assistant director of the Career Center at DePaul University. Michael discussed profile essentials and strategies for making connections on the platform.
Michael emphasized the importance of crafting a clear headline that establishes one’s brand as well as creating effective, attention-grabbing summaries. He recommended these five possible summary approaches from jobs website The Muse:
- The Mission-Based Summary
- The Personality Summary
- The Short-and-Sweet Summary
- The Blended Summary
- The Accomplishments Summary
Michael also discussed the benefits of adding skills/expertise, referencing the top nine skills that employers are seeking in applicants, according to the 2018 National Association of Colleges & Employers Survey. Hiring managers laser in on keywords and phrases emphasizing these specific skills:
- Problem solving skills
- Ability to work in a team
- Communication skills (written)
- Strong work ethic
- Analytical/qualitative skills
- Communication skills (verbal)
With 85% of all jobs getting filled through networking channels and more than 90% of recruiters using LinkedIn, the importance of this platform cannot be ignored. The fully engaged Miami undergrads clearly understand the power of LinkedIn. I predict they’ll land great jobs upon graduation.
Want further proof of the power and importance of LinkedIn? Check out these LinkedIn statistics.