How to Use LinkedIn

White background with bolded black text that reads "Linked", and white text in a blue box that reads "in."

Article photograph courtesy of LinkedIn

As we begin to approach the end of the school year, soon-to-be graduates might be starting to fret over what comes after college. What does life look like after graduation? How do you get a job? How to polish a résumé? What’s the deal with cover letters? As part of a new series, we’re compiling tips and tricks from Service Learning and Career Development (SLCD), alumni, and others to ensure a smooth transition from WOU to the professional world. First up: mastering LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a phenomenal website dedicated to helping build your professional portfolio. Think of it as Facebook, but one that you actually want potential employers to check out. It is a great space for you to share your employment history, your education, and your skills. Here’s some ways to start building your page.

Choose a professional profile picture: One of the first things a potential employer will see on your profile is your photograph. This image needs to be professional, and, ideally, feature yourself from the shoulders up with a neutral or non-distracting background. There is an option to choose not to use an image, if you prefer.

Write a short bio: In your profile, you can add a short bio that introduces yourself to those who view your profile. This would be a great space to add your current title and your future career plans.

Make connections with peers, faculty, and employers: One of the greatest features of LinkedIn is the ability to create professional connections with those in your network. Reach out to both past and present employers, coworkers, professors, and peers to build a community of connections on the site. For more information about how to build your network, check out advice from SLCD here.

Highlight your work and education experience: You can think of LinkedIn as a digital version of a resume, so it is a great idea to add your work and education experience. You can also follow WOU on LinkedIn to connect with fellow students and WOU alumni.

Add your skills: Another great aspect of LinkedIn is the ability to add your skills. Individuals you connect with can actually endorse your skills, which will look great to potential employers.

Check out more LinkedIn tips on SLCD’s website, and make sure to keep an eye on Today at WOU to check out other professional tips for upcoming graduates.

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