LinkedIn expert helps students to improve their online profiles

By Quinton R. Arthur

Staff Reporter

LinkedIn Denis Curtin

Denis Curtin prepares to tell the audience how to improve their LinkedIn accounts. Photo Credit: Quinton R. Arthur

        According to an article from Forbes, statistics from a 2014 survey show that LinkedIn has grown in importance and relevancy.  

“The perceived importance of LinkedIn continues to grow,” the article reads. “A full 70% of users give the site a 4 or 5 rating (out of 5), up 9% from users’ responses last year.”  

According to a report done by Social Media Today, at least 77% of jobs are now posted on LinkedIn.

        The first part of the presentation focused on the headline section. The first step, according to Curtin, is to always have a profile picture. The best profile picture is achieved with a solid black or white background and interview outfit. It should reflect how you would dress on an actual face to face interview or on a day at the job.

        Next, Curtin said that users should focus on the essential part of the profile, which is the job information. The current title should be relevant, even if it is student employment. Each section should have links to reflect work, and a custom url which can be configured in settings. The url should simply be first and last name, to make it easier to search for yourself.

        A common mistake that job seekers make is messing up their contact information, such as email addresses, Curtain said.

“Make sure you place your email without a period at the end,” says Curtin. “Employers may accidently pick that up and send an email that will be returned.”

        Curtin said that keywords should be used to reflect the industry the job seeker is in. For example, if the seeker is in education, words like teach and classroom are relevant. The more keywords used in the profile, the more visible the profile is to employers.

        One of the last points made during the presentation was making sure to increase connections. Users should aim to have at least 500 connections to take advantage of second and third party connections. Of those connections, a few should be “super connectors” or people with over 500 connections themselves. An easy way to accomplish this task is through joining LinkedIn groups.

        “Joining a group increases your visibility on LinkedIn,” says Curtin. “There are hundreds of groups, so you can find quite a few to join.”

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