Refining Your Personal Brand: LinkedIn Tips from a Recruiter

By: Theresa Hickey

You already have a brand whether you know it or not. It usually takes someone about three seconds to form an opinion about you whether it’s good or bad. Your brand is your reputation, and you should want to be known for your unique skills, strengths, and attributes. One of the ways you can build your brand is through your presence on social media.

There are tons of social media sites out there today and being selective on which ones you are on is very important. Whether appropriate or not, companies will search these sites prior to starting a recruiting process with students to see what they can find out about you. Today, one of the most popular social sites when looking for an internship or job is LinkedIn. Let’s look at some tips on how to build your brand, specifically on LinkedIn.

URL
When you create a LinkedIn profile, you are assigned a URL. You have the ability to update and create your own URL. It’s important to keep it professional and would recommend just your first and last name. Make sure to include your URL on your resume.

Photo
LinkedIn is a professional networking site. This is not the place to post your spring break selfie. You do not want the first picture potential employers see to send a negative opinion. These pictures do not need to be taken by a professional, but you can easily find a nice background and ask a friend to snap the shot.

Contact Information
Make sure Recruiters know how to get in touch with you. If your email or phone number changes, it’s important to keep them updated.

Summary
This is a good time for you to brag about yourself. A good LinkedIn summary promotes your skills and experience, draws recruiters to your profile and helps you stand out from the millions of other professionals on the platform. It provides a “story” of who you are and what you what others to know.

Experience
You can use this section to talk about jobs, internships, projects/assignments, athletics, and leadership roles. If you’ve gained a skillset because of an experience, highlight it here. Don’t discount any experience you’ve had because you think a Recruiter wouldn’t be interested in knowing that about you.

Skills and Endorsements
Recruiters will start a candidate search based on skills they are looking to hire. Make sure to add all the skills where you have strengths and can share past experiences. Look at job descriptions at companies you are interested in working and add some of the skills they specifically need to increase your chances of matching with organizations. If others can endorse your skillsets, it’s a great reference to your abilities.

Recommendations
Ask people who know your capabilities to share them on your LinkedIn page. This is a quick way for Recruiters to check your references.

Build a Network
Who you are connected to can help when looking for a job. When you send a connection request, always include a personal note on why you want to connect or how you might know them.

It’s important to conduct yourself online just as you would offline. It’s hard to take back a bad first impression once it’s formed. Do whatever you can to set yourself apart from the competition because in today’s market, it can come down to who or what you know.