LinkedIn for the College Girl Boss

Girl, we’re too old to have weak a LinkedIn profile. Let’s get it together and let’s get in formation! Here are my top tips to stand out and not have a weak LinkedIn profile. Enjoy, XO!

The majority of students in college either don’t have a LinkedIn account altogether or they do but it’s…well booty. I am all about personal branding, your image, and putting + positioning yourself for success. Not to brag (but I am bragging) my profile is pretty bomb and I have made several connections, received business referrals, internship offers and more. Your LinkedIn profile can offer you amazing opportunities when used correctly. So I want to share my top tips with you so you can step up your game and prevent having a weak LinkedIn profile that nobody looks at. You’re welcome.

YOUR PROFILE PICTURE.

So freaking simple. As I scroll through my recommended connections, one of the major (and easy fixes) is the profile picture. There are duck lip selfies, selfies in front of a dirty room, bad quality photos, etc. Recently, I came across a man kissing his girlfriend as his LinkedIn profile picture.

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It has to stop, like yesterday. Oh, and athletes…do not put your team roster picture as your LinekdIn profile picture. Yes I get that it is a high quality picture, however…it is a picture for your team roster on your team’s athletic page. That’s where it belongs, okay? Not on a professional networking site. Hate to break it to you, but the majority of y’all will not be professional athletes after college, so stop limiting yourself as “just the athlete”. And I am not hating, I was an athlete too.

I recommend everyone invests in getting professional head shots. If hiring a photographer isn’t within your budget, then:

  1. find good lighting
  2. dress up in some nice clothes
  3. have a friend take pictures on your iPhone (sorry Android users) in GOOD lighting or outside somewhere

My sister takes mine with a Canon something or I take my own using a tripod from Amazon for the low low (here’s a link). My recent ones were taken in front of my wall in my living room girl. Make it work. Head shots come in very handy and make people take you more seriously. Some employers might not even click on your profile, and you could’ve been perfectly (if not overly) qualified for the job, because of a silly duck lip selfie.

 

YOUR TAGLINE. 

Stop telling people that you’re a college student studying _______________ at the University of ____________ in your tagline. They can find out that information in the “Education” section of your profile and there’s a spot right underneath your tagline where it’s listed too. Every college student I’ve seen (excluding myself and now you) has that and it makes you basic and we don’t want to be basic. On top of that it looks like you lack thought and creativity. Use your tagline to make you stand out, that’s what it’s there for. [Tweet That]

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I want you all to think like this, “I am more than just a college student” Why? Because girl you are more than just college student and you need to let people know that through your tagline. When creating your tagline you want to make sure you include one or more of the following:

  1. what you’re doing currently [not college student]
  2. the job or position you’re looking for
  3. words to describe your character

On my LinkedIn, my tagline is as follows: CEO of Three House Creative, Content Creator at Micah Nicole, Online Course Instructor, College Student. I am still letting people know I am in college, but I am also letting people know that I am in the online course business, that I host + run my own blog (which is a skill set of its own), and I am CEO of something which as adds a fancy touch.

When people look to employ or even connect with you they’ll be drawn in by your tagline. People are egotistical by nature and love to find or see themselves in others. So if an employer of a marketing firm looks at your profile (with your tagline saying “Visionary”) and considers herself a visionary as well, she already has established a liking for you before she’s even clicked on your profile. And all of this happened based on a bomb tagline.

Your profile, as well as your tagline, is one of the first things people see before they even click on your page. Think of it like dating, you are always drawn in because the guy is fine as hell and you stay because is personality is great. Am I right or am I right? Your tagline and profile = the attractiveness while your profile’s content = the amazing personality.

 

YOUR CONTENT.

The main thing I want to you take away from this section is, don’t put what you think people will want to see on your profile, if you cannot back it up. Yes, it is your profile BUT you’re creating to draw in a specific audience (company/connection/mentor/employer). You want to hype and put your best self forward with the content on your profile. However, don’t say things that will just bring you hell later on. Because stress is gone be snatching yo edges like this:

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Think about it this way, I took Spanish all throughout high school because it was required to graduated…I also am taking Spanish again in college as it’s required for my major. Now, would it look nice if I had on my profile that I spoke two languages? Yes. But if I am being 100% honest with you, there is no way in hell that I would hype up or put under the language tab that I speak both English and Spanish because I didn’t pass Spanish with flying colors. Do you see where I am going here? People, such as employers, see this and they’re going to think that you’re fluent in either reading and/or speaking. Yes it would look nice but would cause me hell later on if I was hired solely on that. Only put down skills you are proficient in and wouldn’t mind being hired for that skill or task. [Tweet that]

Also, be creative with your wording and how you describe positions or things you have done in the past and are doing currently. Be sure to pay attention to tenses as well. Stay away from bland words but don’t use crazy words people rarely hear either. That’ll help you stand out and will hopefully keep the reader (employer or new connection) intrigued and view your entire profile.

 

YOUR GRAPHICS AND DIGITAL UPLOADS.

While on LinkedIn it gives you the option to upload: links, Word Docs, presentations, videos, and photos. Use this to your advantage girl! This helps you establish credibility and shows that you took the time to put in the extra effort. Now, if you’re not really feeling jazzing up your profile with images and videos then just make sure you link or direct them to a personal site that shows your work.

One thing I encourage a lot of people to do is under the “Summary” section, upload a PDF version of your resume so they can click it right away. Here’s how you can take advantage of the other uploads:

  • video is great for: dancers, film makers, pr + broadcasting, documentaries, etc.
  • photo is great for: great for, photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists, designers, creatives, speakers, etc.
  • link is great for: great for posting resumes, media kits, links to press or praise, articles you’re features in, or personal sites, blogs, or business websites
  • presentation is great for: speakers, those in business/marketing/advertising, design, media kit, pitching, etc.
  • word doc is great for: resume uploads, samples of writing work, praise, business plans, media kits, etc.

By doing this, it will allow your profile ranking to shoot up which means more people will see your profile. Right now, my LinkedIn is viewed 75% more than my peers and gets views daily.

RECOMMENDATIONS & TESTIMONIALS.

This is something that I am currently implementing now. I do have a praise page on my personal site as well which you can view here. I’ve asked around people I’ve worked with, who know me, who I’ve work for to write something about me. I asked for both work recommendations as well as character recommendations which are pretty self explanatory.

So who can you ask? Let me give you some ideas:

  • your actual job: ask staff, co-workers, your boss or anybody within the building that you’ve established a relationship with.
  • clients: if anybody has hired you to do something for money, then they are fair game as well. This shows your leader and business style. Babysitting counts as well! You were hired and paid, so reach out to the parents. Do this only if you babysit consistently or for at least a one month period.
  • volunteering: if you’ve worked heavily with a certain organization, then ask! The environment is just like a job, if not more. So ask staff, other volunteers, coordinators, the leader, etc. if they could write something for you. This is great for both work and character recommendations because it relates to your work ethic and the cause or organization you volunteer with.
  • family and friends: here is where more the character recommendations come in. Yes, who knows you better than your family or your girls? Have them write something reflecting you are as an overall person. People want to know this, yeah you may be a great worker but how are you as a human being?
  • sport coaches + teachers: this is great for character recommendations because you’ve been around people like this for at least a year if not more. Ask your favorite teacher or your sports coach who’s been with you since you were four!
  • business coaches or mentors: they know your goals and see you out there working to better yourself and/or business. With mentors, they see something in you and would be more than happy to write something great!
  • people you’ve helped or influenced: constantly giving someone advice or has someone told you that you’ve inspired/impacted them in anyway? Use that! It shows your influence and leadership capabilities. My blog and courses have allowed me to help so many girls across the country and I’ve received a lot of love and feedback that would work great.
  • physical therapist: many of you can’t relate but I had to throw this in there for my own personal sake. I had 5 knee surgeries over the course of my soccer career (4 y/o to 20 y/o) and spent what seemed like forever in PT. If you’ve had an injury or a knee injury specifically, then YOU KNOW how much it drains you mentally, physically, and emotionally. Each time I had a surgery, PT lasted – at minimum – 8 months. I went 5 days a week for 2-3 hours daily. And how does something like going under the knife 5 times help? That shows heart, determination, perseverance, strength, and more. Having people (and strangers) see you at a low point, really can show of one’s character!

PUT YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA OR WEBSITE(S).

This [social media] is optional of course but if you want to you can. LinkedIn allows you to put websites in the area where you see the profile picture, tagline, education, etc. I encourage you to add your personal website or even a business website. In my LinkedIn, I have my site + blog, my business site, and my course sales page.

I teach you how to create a bomb personal website and more in my course Slay Your Brand

POST & SHARE STUFF.

I sucked at this however, I am getting better. Post a status – now this IS NOT like posting a Twitter or Facebook status – post professional stuff. Articles relating to your field, success and accomplishments, interesting posts, motivational quotes, etc. Share your own work, I plan to start uploading my blog posts (one’s on personal branding) to LinkedIn. If you don’t have a blog, LinkedIn allows you to create and publish posts through their site.

And there you have it ladies, say no to weak LinkedIn profiles…rebel rebel rebel! I hope this was in depth and helpful to y’all. If you need any more help with creating a LinkedIn feel free to leave a comment below, send me a message via my contact page, or mention me on Twitter @micahxnicole! Feel free to connect and view my current Linkedin Profile 🙂