Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Take the Back to School LinkedIn Challenge

By: Claudine Meilink

Today I challenged 20 of my LinkedIn contacts – all students – to take the Back to School Linked In Challenge. Why? Because they had initially created a LinkedIn profile to expand their network and, while their initial intentions were good, they had made the grave error of forgetting about that half-finished LinkedIn profile and allowed it to become a poor representation of who they are.
In the virtual world of the internet, it is almost better to have no presence rather than a negative presence. A half-finished or poorly done LinkedIn profile equals a negative presence. As more and more recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates to fill positions, you will want to ensure you are representing yourself positively online.
Is your LinkedIn profile at least 85% complete? If not, take my Back to School LinkedIn Challenge now so you are ready for fall recruitment when employers arrive on campus in September.

Phase I (Week 1)

  1. Upload a photo if you haven’t already. Your photo should be a headshot and not include half of someone else’s head chopped off, bar signs in the back ground, or a straw in your mouth.
  2. Complete the “Education” section with your major/minor, GPA, student organizations, extracurricular activities, academic accolades, and other school-related accomplishments. This is your chance to present information that wouldn’t typically fit on your resume. Don’t forget study abroad experiences, independent studies,
  3. Update your “Experience” to include all relevant work experiences such as internships, as well as past positions that demonstrated your transferable skills, volunteer experiences, and internships for academic credit. This is your opportunity to present your resume on steroids. Take it.
  4. Link to your twitter page, your website, or your blog but only if it is a professional representation of yourself. If you use twitter to communicate with your friends about how hungover you are on Sunday morning or swear like a sailor, skip the link to twitter. However, if you use twitter to network like a pro and find resources in your field of study, show your stuff!
  5. Last, but not least, write a meaningful summary that adequately describes your skills and abilities, your strengths and accomplishments, and future goals. Your summary should give an employer an idea of why they would want to hire you. This is your time to shine!
Congratulations! You’ve passed the first step of the Back-to-School Linked In Challenge. Feel free to connect with me on Linked In if you would like to officially enter my contest. Prizes will be awarded. Don’t forget to personalize your invitation by telling me why you would like to connect.
Phase II will be posted next Friday, August 6th, 2010.


Claudine is a Career Services Consultant for the Center for Career Opportunities (CCO) at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.  Among other things, Claudine provides career and major counseling to students and alumni, assists employers with achieving their recruitment goals at Purdue, and dabbles in the use of social media to engage students. You can connect with Claudine on twitter or LinkedIn.
Related posts:
  1. The Back to School LinkedIn Challenge (Phase II)
  2. The Back to School LinkedIn Challenge Phase III
  3. Weekend Challenge: Beef Up Your LinkedIn Profile

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