Straight Outta High School: Creating an Effective LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn: at this point, most of us know what that is. We even have our own profiles. But if you think about it, did some of us really know what it was before we got to college? Our guess is probably not. Think of LinkedIn as a Facebook, but without the birthday messages from your aunt in Texas and the endless ‘poke’ notifications. LinkedIn is your professional digital portfolio. It’ll include nearly everything that goes on a resume and more. You can use LinkedIn to find jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities that fit your interests. Don’t panic if you don’t know anyone at Seventeen Magazine and you want to interview there- you can use LinkedIn to get in contact with someone at Hearst. LinkedIn is a great stepping stone to getting your work and uniqueness into the real world, which is why it’s important to build your network on the website early on in your college career. In this post, we’ll show you how to do it!

It’s a good idea to know what you are signing up for. That way you’ll have a better sense of what and what not to post on your profile. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking platform with more than 500 million users in more than 200 countries worldwide. Unlike the personal networking site, Facebook, LinkedIn is a professional networking site that allows users to grow their careers and connect with other professionals. Users can range from marketing executives at large corporations to first year college students who are looking to explore future career options. LinkedIn opens up the door to thousands of opportunities to market yourself in a fun, professional, and interactive way.

Step 1. Sign up on

Just provide your name, email address, country and zipcode. *For high school seniors, a birthday is required. We recommend you to use your primary e-mail address.

Step 2. What kind of information should be included?

Build up your interests to get approach to information that you need. Available options are:

  • Building my professional network (recommended)
  • Staying up-to-date with my industry
  • Finding a job
  • Keeping in touch with my contacts (recommended)
  • Not sure yet. I’m open!

When you select the option, you will be required to select which topic you are interested in. Multiple choices are fine. (For example, if you are interested in digital marketing, you can select marketing and communication) Make sure to select the topics and update your contact addresses for more chances of receiving helpful information!

Step 3. Adding relevant attachments: Be communicative with others through LinkedIn!

Depending on your career or academic interests, it is possible to add relevant attachments. This social network allows you to attach sharable links. Organizing the area of your interests through sharable links will allow you to get professional information and tips!

Step 4.  Now You are Ready to be Linked – In!

a. How to find out what you want: Be broad, but not too broad

Use search engine in LinkedIn. The searching system in LinkedIn is consisted of three parts. Jobs for title, People with title and Groups about specific topic. Before using the search engine, we recommend you to verify your topic. The search engine will show you information which are shared by users of LinkedIn. For example, when you type ‘University at Albany’ in category of people with title, it is possible to search 4,224 employees in LinkedIn! When you type ‘communication specialist’ in category of people with title, it is possible to search over 59,000 specialists who are sharing information through LinkedIn!

b. How to build Network through the search engine: Be active. Do not wait to an invitation to connect.

On the left side on search engine, you can find the ‘my networks’ menu. If you are recruited to LinkedIn, you will see the number of connection is ‘0’. This is why we recommended to update contact address and considerably select interested topics.  However, through the search engine, you can boost your network. As we mentioned in the first step of this section, you can search 4,244 employees by typing University at Albany. You can share your interest and get information through actual users who are sharing same things with you. Our advice about ‘Adding relevant attachments’ will even upgrade your network!

It’s never too early or late to start using LinkedIn to build your professional network. Who you know is just as important as what you know, and you’ll never know how many people you can connect with until you build up your network. Hopefully, you’re more confident about getting started on LinkedIn after reading this guide.


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