By Mriganka Maroo, Wasserman Career Ambassador, CAS Class of 2024
Hi guys! My name is Mriganka Maroo, and I am a sophomore at CAS, majoring in Economics, and a career ambassador for the Wasserman Center. I recently attended a DICP event that spoke about understanding LinkedIn from a recruiter’s perspective. The Diversity Internship and Career Preparation Program (DICP) enables students to take an active role in their career search and prep by equipping them with skills such as resume and cover letter writing, networking, and so on. This particular event was kickstarted with an extremely educational session with Alison Rivera, a recruiter for SiriusXM, who gave students tips on building their LinkedIn profiles and leveraging it to their advantage.
Alison took us through her own LinkedIn page and started at the very beginning: the profile picture. She noted that while having a picture is an absolute must, it doesn’t need to be a professional headshot. A picture that shows people your face and who you are is good enough. The background picture, while optional, can add a little character to your page, and is a good tool for creating your personal brand. The subtitle right below your picture defaults to the most recent position you have held or are currently working in. Recognizing that many students multiple positions simultaneously, Alison recommended changing your subtitle to the position that you think best reflects who you are, and possibly including the industry, position, and current location. The ‘about’ section is what follows, and is extremely essential in creating your brand. She suggested writing in either the first or third person and keeping it between 2-7 sentences. This section should convey three simple things: who you are, what you’ve done, and where you want to go. The featured section that follows is helpful to those who want to put up documents, websites, projects, or any sort of work that they have created and can display; this gives recruiters insight into your capabilities.
Along with the ‘about’ section, the ‘education’ and ‘experience’ sections are crucial, as that is what recruiters want to know about you. This section contains information similar to what you put on a resume, but since there is no page or space restriction, Alison noted that you can go into more detail about your work, and add some ‘color’ to the stories you create of yourself. She added that the ‘experience’ section is not solely devoted to paid full-time or part-time jobs but also paid and unpaid internships, academic work, volunteer positions, and so on. She emphasized that this section is more than just a list of your experiences, but serves as a way to showcase your skills and your strengths. She shared a helpful tip around writing about these experiences, saying that you should try to incorporate industry-specific terms; this signals your awareness about the industry, and why you would be a good fit for it.
She went on to acknowledge how helpful the ‘licenses and certifications’ section can be but focused more on the ‘skills’ section. She spoke about how employers and recruiters are more concerned about the skills that you possess, and the value that you can bring to the job. Following this is the ‘recommendations’ section, which Alison noted is a great but unessential part of the Linkedin profile. She recommended emailing anyone you can think of, old bosses, professors, advisors, and so on, and formally asking them to write you a recommendation, before sending them an invite via LinkedIn. She also reminded us to return the favor: if you want a recommendation, offer to write one back!
The penultimate section of the profile is the ‘accomplishments’ section, which gives you a lot of scope to show off your work and achievements. With categories ranging from publications and patents to languages, courses, organizations, and so on, this section allows you to talk about anything else that you’ve achieved but not been able to display thus far. The last section on the profile is the ‘interests’ section. Alison recommended following your educational organizations and companies you’re interested in. This is a great way to keep up with industry news. She also shared a hot tip: if you and someone you want to connect with follow the same organization, you can message them for free, which the basic LinkedIn plan doesn’t allow!
This brought us to the topic of networking and meeting people. LinkedIn is a useful tool for this purpose, as you can look up any organization, and filter the people of that organization by their education, their cities, and so on. Alison recommended always adding a personalized note when connecting with people, as they are more likely to connect with you if they know a little bit about who you are, and what you want. She advised being direct with your purpose, but sociable and kind while messaging potential connections.
The last thing Alison spoke about was using LinkedIn to find job opportunities. She acknowledged that while LinkedIn wasn’t the only platform for this, and that you should definitely use a range of different platforms, LinkedIn does keep updating job openings and is a great way to learn what is out there. She gives a disclaimer that one should only apply via LinkedIn if their profile is fully fleshed out! While answering students’ questions, she confirmed that LinkedIn learning (which NYU gives us free access to) is a good addition to your profile, especially if you want to tackle an industry where you don’t have much experience.
If somebody looks you up on the internet, as employers and recruiters are akin to do, your LinkedIn is one of the first few things that will show up and will leave a lasting impression. Thus, to better your chances and make the most of this platform, use Alison’s tips to spruce up your page!