Overcoming The “Everyone On the Internet Are Predators” Era

(AKA: how to break past your fear and use your real name online)

LinkedIn! If you’re like me (a 1998 kid), you were probably part of the “everyone on the internet is a predator” generation. Due to these intensive safety measures, I found it difficult to go from anonymous to “find me and hire me”. One of the easier transitional tasks I did was creating a LinkedIn. LinkedIn is essentially a digital resume and it’s really a hot commodity to have for students.

The following set of blog posts will be a summary of Oliver Schinkten’s Learning LinkedIn for Students. Let’s jump on into it!


Why LinkedIn

You may be asking yourself “why do I need to have a LinkedIn; I have a resume”? Well, as mentioned, it’s your professional online presence. When prospective employers look you up, your LinkedIn could be your safety; the first thing to pop up and push your finsta* down.

*Finsta: A secondary Instagram account that is usually less curated. Sometimes used for selfie-spam of drunk antics.

As of Schinkten’s video, here are some LinkedIn stats:

^Recruiters looking at your LinkedIn
  • Over 500 million members
  • Over 9 million companies
  • Over 10 million active job postings
  • The go-to site for recruiters
  • Over 70% of companies screen social media 
    (Schinkten, 2018)

The Basics of LinkedIn

Step 1: Sign up! Remember, you want to get your name out there! Don’t fully throw internet safety out the window though. Use a strong password (Schinkten, 2018) and don’t give out information that’s too personal. If it makes you uncomfortable to give, don’t give it!  

Pro Tip: Schinkten recommends when LinkedIn asks you “what you’re most interested in doing”, you say “I’m open!” (Schinkten, 2018) when signing up. This is because all the reasons are good uses of LinkedIn!

Step 2: Customize! Add your selfies and show a little personality. Statistically, accounts with an icon photo get looked at more than those without (Schinkten, 2018). This makes sense because on any other social media, accounts with no icon photo usually indicates fake/spam accounts.  

Note: There’s no fear in adding/changing your profile picture! If you ever want to change it, just click the pencil icon beside the photo. Don’t forget to save!

^ Pikachu should use this picture on his LinkedIn because its clear, recent, and professional!

Pro Tip: Use pictures that are:

  • Recent (you want people to recognize you)
  • Clear (they need to see you!)
  • Professional (this is a work-oriented social media)
    (Schinkten, 2018)

Your headline (the first bar of text under your name), is part of your first impression so make it count! Schinkten recommends “something that defines who you are and what you want to become” (Schinkten, 2018). An example of this is: “BBA Student, Aspiring Copywriter”. Adding an interest/passion adds a little flair that’ll draw readers in.

Your summary is very important. It’s essentially the cover letter of your account. This is a more in-depth section that you can really sell yourself. Add your passions, aspirations, accomplishments, and more! Overall, things that make you look good and add some keywords to your account (Schinkten, 2018).

Pro Tip: Keywords are like subtle hashtags. They’re words that recruiters/recruiting applications are going to flag first (Schinkten, 2018). When writing, make sure to work keywords in in organic ways. If you just spam a bunch of keywords at the bottom it’s wasted space. An example is: “I have serving experience” versus “I have experience working in fast-paced environment”.     

Remember: make your summary readable! There’s no point in writing it if no one can read it. A good app to use to check readability is HemingwayApp (not sponsored). It’s free, recommended by my professor, and rates your text’s readability in an easy and visual way.   

Pro Tip: The summary preview only shows the first few sentences. Make these the eye-catching “I must read more” sentences (Schinkten, 2018).

Conclusion

Having a LinkedIn is pretty important. It’s a solid way to create a professional online presence for minimal effort. Going into it, I thought my LinkedIn was pretty good. I constantly get emails thanking me for “being an active member” so I figured I was doing great. This assumption was mid-tier wrong. I got the basics down but the specific details is where I was lacking. Personally, the best tips I learned are profile summaries are very important (so I needed to add that!). At the bottom of this page is my LinkedIn profile with pictures of changes I made from this section. Be sure to check it out! 

After: Here is a screenshot of my summary
Before: No summary! Embarrassing

References

Schinkten, O. (2018, October 18). Learning LinkedIn for Students. Retrieved from LinkedIn Learning : https://www.linkedin.com/learning/learning-linkedin-for-students/welcome?u=2109516

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