A while ago I mentioned the value of LinkedIn as a social media that is also a great medium for getting a job. But as it sometimes happens, you may lack the work experience to fill out your summary and charm recruiters scanning the LinkedIn profiles of prospective employees.
Don’t get discouraged! Finding a suitable internship to start your professional career is far from complicated. Why? Because actually LinkedIn is a very internship-friendly social network. However, there are a few rules you have to follow if you want people to notice you and hire you as an intern. In fact, these rules are pretty similar to the tips and tricks related to ensuring a good job position via your LinkedIn profile.
“Let’s take a look at what you need to do to land that juicy internship.”
Have a complete LinkedIn profile, written in professional manner
Well, this is self-explanatory, isn’t it? In the event of internship seeking, though, I want to highlight some important aspects you need to exclusively turn your attention to.
The first one is the Courses and Projects section, as well as the Certifications one. Chances are that you are still in university when you seek to do an internship somewhere. Even if you lack the work experience, you must have run some courses and completed projects during your study.
By all means don’t skip them! These sections are an important source of credibility. Sort through your classes and assignments history and highlight any milestones you have achieved. Write them down professionally in your LinkedIn profile.
The second one are the Recommendations. Recommendations are a reference or a comment made by a colleague of yours (or why not a professor even!), a friend or generally someone to whom you have showcased your talents with tangible results. Ask for recommendations! Again, they are a clear source of credibility. If you get a recommendation from a respected professor from your university (or teacher if you’re still in school), this is a major plus for any employers looking to hire you as an intern.
Last but not least, ask people to endorse you. Many of them will actually do that without you asking them if you do things right. Endorsements differ from recommendations – they are a list of skills people have seen you wield…or perceive that you have. Having 15 people that have endorsed your content writing skill for example, followed by 10 people that have endorsed your brilliant analysis skills is yet another way to build up your credibility. Endorsing others often leads to reciprocation with them endorsing you in return.
Throughout your LinkedIn profile, don’t forget to use keywords. They will help recruiters in your niche find your profile easier. Just don’t stuff keywords too much because it seems unnatural and is actually counterproductive.
Actively socialize with other people and groups in your field
Again, a very basic thing to do. There are some benefits to you being a university student for example, though. The biggest of them in social context are the University pages.
A number of the leading education institutions already have Company pages, but almost every university I’ve seen on LinkedIn has at least a University page. Such pages bring current (and past sometimes) students, current alumni and of course the university staff together. This leads to a terrific opportunity for you to connect and watch the information stream for good internship opportunities. Many companies will reach out and post their offers there, so be sure to look for announcements regularly.
LinkedIn Groups are great to join too. Branch out and visit all groups related to your field. When joining a certain group, no matter if it’s a college group, an alumni one, a corporate one or the famous job search groups, you can search for relevant groups by keywords and categories. If you branch out even further you’ll find yourself sitting comfortably among a high number of opportunities to choose from.
Specific people a.k.a professionals and influencers in your field and industry are another thing to look out for. Tracking them is easy but think what you can bring to the table if you initiate a conversation with them. Check if you have completed your profile as I mentioned beforehand. Time is scarce for many of the industry influencers so you won’t do good to waste your chance by appearing unprofessional.
Professionals are terrific in case you wish to have some in-depth insight into an industry. A polite e-mail with clear message and showcase of your talents and experience will do wonders. Mention your goals and passions but don’t overdo it. If you’re lucky, the influencer you contacted might share a valuable bit of advice with you or even arrange an internship for you if you stand out from the crowd.