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A Quick Survival Guide to LinkedIn for Current University Students

If you are a college student, it is very important that you start building your professional network even before you graduate. This will help you get valuable exposure in your industry and help you find meaning professional relationships. This quick guide is a great way to demystify LinkedIn and use it to your advantage.
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       A QUICK SURVIVAL GUIDE TO LINKEDIN FOR CURRENT UNIVERSITY STUDENTS Aug 2014 The worst mistake many college students are making about LinkedIn is to see this platform merely as a digital resume. Far from being simply a job board, LinkedIn is a social networking tool that specifically targets your professional life (in contrast to Facebook and Twitter).   If you care about your career after graduation, then LinkedIn should be a top priority. Job recruiters depend more and more on LinkedIn to get a quick glance of a person’s relevant work history and to get a digital impression of a candidate. Actually, 94% of recruiters [1] use LinkedIn at one point of their hiring process. With such high numbers, one would like to think that job-seekers actually take advantage of this platform. However, the truth is that very few people update their LinkedIn profile on a consistent basis and the amount of current college students actively engaging in this platform is considerably low. The lack of engagement of current students on the platform gives the very few who actively use it a competitive advantage. So, if you are planning to get a job after graduating, or if you would like to expand your current career horizons, it is never too early to get used to this platform.   My name is Josse Alexandro Garrido but my friends call me Alex Garrido. I am in charge of the digital marketing strategy of the Office of Graduate Studies at the University of Texas-Pan American. I also tech several web strategy classes with the Office of Continuing Education and manage the online marketing of the university’s Engl  ish Language Institute. I own an online marketing company with clients in Houston, Sacramento, and of course South Texas. I have a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and I am currently pursuing my Master in  Analytics. Digital marketing is my passion. If you would like to share your ideas or if you have questions, please connect with me via social media: | |     HOW TO CREATE AN OPTIMIZED LINKEDIN PROFILE? One of the beautiful things about LinkedIn is that Google pretty much loves it. A properly optimized LinkedIn profile will show up in relevant search results and also it will give you the ability to control what your “future boss” can see about you. For example, when looking at the resume of a prospect I would usually type the name of the person in Google and see what kind of results I would get. Having a properly optimized LinkedIn page can help you generate a good digital first impression by showing up top of the results and help you control the image you want to portray to your future employer. According to one of the biggest job portals (Glassdoor), employers usually look for 4 things when they search your name online: 1.   A professional headshot: just like dressing up for your first job interview is essential to make a good physical first impression, having a professional-    looking headshot in your social profiles can go a long way. 2.   Your online portfolio: any relevant work that can be digitized such as publications, book references, patents, outstanding presentations, videos, etc. 3.   The size of your digital footprint: they want to know how you interact with others online and they like to get a clue of how passive or active you are in your industry. 4.   Your character and behavior: employers want to know if you would be a good fit not only for the job position but also to the company culture. The beautiful thing about LinkedIn is that it addresses all of these areas. A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS Your LinkedIn profile images can make or break your digital image. Having a professional looking shoot is essential is you want to make it pass the next hiring filter. If you do not have a photo, it might be perceived as either insecurity or that you have something to hide. People who do not have a picture also are most likely to be ignored since it is assumed that the person is
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