A Beginner’s Guide to Virtual Networking: Building Your LinkedIn

A Beginner’s Guide to Virtual Networking: Building Your LinkedIn

When you’re beginning your professional career, building a strong virtual portfolio is a key factor to your success. It’s an effective way to network with other professionals in your field and can potentially earn you a job opportunity. Plus with the recent stay-at-home order due to COVID-19, employers are leaning towards online recruiting. Building your online portfolio can be a big task, especially if you don’t know what employers are looking for. Here are a few tips to building a stand-out LinkedIn profile.

1. Summary

Start off with a strong professional headline. This is the line that will show up in search engines next to your name. A strong professional headline should be less than 120 characters and show your career focus and components of work.

Next, work on your “About” section. Include industry-related keywords, skills, professional interests and strengths. A good summary can usually be skimmed in about 30 seconds, so try to keep your “About” section fairly succinct and clear.

For more information about writing a good summary, click here.

Example of a LinkedIn profile summary

(Image via Kate Reilly)

2. Profile Photo

Never underestimate the power of a first impression! Profiles with photos are 14 times more likely to be viewed according to Harvard career experts. Not all profile photos need to be taken in professional attire, but make sure you’re intentional with the way you present yourself!

For more tips about taking the best profile picture, click here.

Example of a LinkedIn profile

(Image via Jon Shields)

3. Education and Experience

Add your education in reverse chronological order, starting with the school you most recently attended. The same goes for work experience! When listing your responsibilities, include keywords and measurable results.

For example, if you worked as a cashier, rather than listing your responsibility as “helped customers at checkout,” you could be more specific and say, “helped 50 customers per day and handled up to $700 worth of transactions.”

Two cell phones showing options for formatting the experience section in a LinkedIn profile

(Image via Ian Brooks)

4. Skills

Find out what kinds of skills your employers are looking for, and if they match a skill that you have, add it to this section! For example, employers in the marketing field might be looking for candidates with skills in copy writing, leadership and content strategy. If you have these skills listed on your profile, your profile may come up as a match when a recruiter is looking for new candidates.

List of the top five soft skills and top 10 hard skills most companies need in 2020

(Image via Bruce Anderson)

5. Customize your URL

Once you build your profile, you should start including it on your resume and business cards. Instead of copying and pasting a long URL, customize it to your name! You may have to be creative with it if you have a common name, but try your best to keep it recognizable. The address should look something like www.linkedin.com/yourname.

Let us know some of your tips to creating a stand-out online profile by using the hashtag #CampusCropChat on FacebookTwitter and Instagram at @asicpp.