By Allie Beam

Is LinkedIn necessary? How does one use it effectively?

The answer is that it depends! What field are you in? Do people in your industry connect through LinkedIn? Is networking something that is important for success in your career? 

LinkedIn has been extremely helpful for my networking purposes. While it may not be right for you, I have found that individuals in many fields that do not emphasize the importance of networking can still benefit from it.

If you want to create an impactful LinkedIn presence, here are some areas you should focus on. I am by no means an expert, but with 500+ connections, I have created a page that has helped me professionally.

  1. Add an “About” section to your profile. This is a great place to discuss your qualifications and academic success. It is also used to introduce yourself to future employers.

My “About” section can be seen below:

  1. If you have completed trainings as a part of your degree/professional life, include them on your profile.

Some of my trainings are listed below:

  1. Link any projects or publications that you consider impressive or relevant to your career attributes.

Some of mine are listed here:

  1. Ask your LinkedIn-savvy mentors to write you a recommendation. This will make your page stand out because people don’t often have it on their profiles.

Here is a recommendation from a former mentor of mine:

Ultimately, when it comes down to it, make your LinkedIn what you want it to be and include the information that YOU are proud of. Share your story and what you think employers and schools should know about you, even if it’s not on your resume. This is a way to share a part of yourself. Make sure to have fun and choose wisely.

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