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Developing a Great LinkedIn Page
The percentage of recruiters that use LinkedIn is approaching 95 percent. Having a great LinkedIn page is important as you look, not only for a career post-graduation, but also for internships and practicums.
Some of the offerings at SIS are listed as “hot skills” on LinkedIn’s own blog. For years, the list has included information skills such as data mining, data visualization and interface design. Be sure to emphasize this if you want to work in this field, especially in non-library settings.
For library positions, be sure to highlight the following skills and experience:
- Any customer service and/or supervision experience, no matter the discipline.
- Coordination of volunteers is a highly valued skill as many institutions utilize the people in their community as volunteers.
- Technology skills are extremely important. Highlight and include everything you have been exposed to in and out of the classroom, but be truthful about your abilities (e.g. basic skills in Millennium, intermediate skills in Python, advanced skills in Excel).
- Most employers are looking for people who have the ability to work both independently and cooperatively. Call out your collaborative skills as well as independent, self-starting abilities.
- Understanding searching and access makes for a solid employee, but newer digital access skills are also of value. These skills show that you can both see the big picture and fulfill patrons’ needs by packaging high-demand information in an easily accessible way.
For archival positions, be sure to list collections you have worked with, historical knowledge and the core archival technologies that you are comfortable using.
For positions in digital curation, feature your problem-solving abilities, technology skills, understanding of formats and metadata, and current limitations and innovations of access and preservation.
For positions in information management, you should highlight your analytical abilities or programming projects, as well as showing an understanding of user needs.
No matter your concentration, do competitive research on your discipline in LinkedIn. Use search terms to look for people that you are competing with or who have the job that you want. Get clues from their path and networking to develop your plan.
Remember that you want to paint a thorough picture of your skills and be easy to find. Here are some tips on what you can do to improve your profile:
- Think about your most marketable coursework, no matter the subject. Include class projects with links to the projects if available.
- Professional volunteerism counts! Include it in your profile.
- Include a profile picture. According to an article on realsimple.com, your profile is 14 times more likely to be viewed if it includes a photo.
- Include technology skills, as they are highly valued.
- Fill in all sections so that your profile looks complete and you are not overlooking or avoiding something.
- Include unique skills such as knowledge of advanced technology and foreign languages.
- List all relevant experience, including publishing or presenting at conferences.
- Get a modern email address that does not use an antiquated vendor like Yahoo or AOL. Gmail is recommended. In this discipline, you need to look on top of technology.
- Get colleagues to recommend you in the Endorsements section. If you are new to the field, have a few people provide written endorsements rather than just checking off your skills. This will provide some content until you can get more skills checked off by colleagues.
- Proofread carefully and have others proofread your page.
- Check your profile at least once a week to keep everything current.
- Post once a week as well. An article in the field or an update on an interesting project that you are working on will show your professional contributions.