By: Tommey Liang
LinkedIn is the most popular professional networking site to date, boasting 706 million total users, 310 active monthly individuals, including more than 171 million from the US, according to Omnicore Agency as of Oct. 2020. In addition there are 100 million job applications on the platform every month. It is more important than ever to use LinkedIn as a vehicle to brand yourself, to connect with peers, colleagues and professionals alike, and to either search for positions and/or post them on the recruiting side. Here is a breakdown of some of the features you should be utilizing on this platform:
Building your profile
Like many other social media, there is a section that you can develop your profile and either create or add to the existing sections. Start with uploading a friendly and approachable profile picture and complement it with a background that fortifies your forte, interests or career progression. For example in Tommey’s background above, to this user the animal (bird) symbolizes the Embry-Riddle Eagles – the students and alumni, and the moon denotes space, exploration, reaching to new heights, and possibilities (in terms of internships and jobs).
The “About” section is similar to a “Tell me more about yourself” interview response in that you want to describe your academic and professional achievements, career interests, and why you are considered a great employee, whether potential or already working. You can also add in the Experience section, which can be comprised of work and internship; the Education section; Volunteer Experience; Skills & Endorsements; Recommendations given and received; Accomplishments and Interests. For more on how to complete the profile, please view LinkedIn’s resource here.
Connecting with others
What makes the platform a social medium is the ability to connect with others – whether it be a project teammate, fellow organization or association member, staff and faculty, friends, peers, professionals, career fair representatives and more. You can search for someone’s profile via the Search function and ask to “Connect” or by going to the “My Network” tab and searching for individuals you may know. Most of the time it is not necessary to include a note, but if it is an employer or other professional you have connected with and yearn to make a great first impression, it is encouraged to include in the note a short anecdote of your interaction. For example: “It was great meeting you at the (Virtual) Industry/Career Expo at Embry-Riddle. It would be an honor to connect with you.” Linking with others gives employers the chance to see your profile more often. There is also a messaging system for direct messaging to establish a meetup, “get to know you better professionally,” and various requests such as informational interviewing.
You can brand yourself by accepting an internship or job offer and tagging the company. Furthermore you can write about attending an in-person or online professional conference, a project you have been working on, reflecting on a networking event, and more. Posting about competitions you are involved in, have placed in or won can draw attention. The more you get your name out there showcases your professional brand. Thus, it increases your visibility on the network and your friends and (potential) employers can see how active you are. You are able to see the views, likes and other data analytics after you have created and posted your content.
Searching for positions
You can search for internships and jobs that are posted by companies and apply on LinkedIn. You can use phrases such as “engineering intern” or “engineer intern” and select a location. Once you click on “Search,” there are filters such as the date posted, the name of the company who posted the position, the job type of whether it be internship, full-time, part-time or contract, and if it is a remote opportunity. Definitely add LinkedIn jobs as an additional avenue to search for internships and full-time careers.
By clicking the “Learning” icon in the top-right on your computer browser, you will access LinkedIn Learning. Depending if the user has a LinkedIn Learning subscription or an applicable Premium subscription, you can earn Certificates of Completion through this feature. Select courses and certifications do not require a paid subscription. Some courses take longer than others do, but you can learn skills, subjects and software by watching videos, completing exercises, quizzes and comprehension segments. For instance there is a nearly four-hour video about “Learning CATIA v5” and upon conclusion, a Certificate of Completion awaits. You can certainly add these LinkedIn Learning certifications to your resume and/or curriculum vitae (CV).
Joining the Embry-Riddle alumni network
Fundamentally be sure to join ERAU alumni network on the social medium by searching for “Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.” At the time of this blog post, currently more than 119,380+ alumni have connected and joined. You can see a breakdown of where they live and where they work. These statistics can give you insight as to where alumni tend to work and the companies they are employed at. Lastly it can provide an idea of expanding your job search to include certain employers. Plus being a part of the ERAU network makes you feel as though you “belong somewhere” and have a LinkedIn home, maybe a virtual Eagle’s nest, in the alumni group.
A graduate of the University of Florida and master’s graduate of University of Central Florida, Tommey Liang is a program manager for aerospace engineering, computational mathematics and airworthiness engineering (master’s only) students at Career Services – Daytona Beach. Prior to Embry-Riddle, he served as a City Year AmeriCorps Member in Jacksonville, an ESL teacher in China, and a graduate teaching assistant at UCF Experiential Learning. He enjoys watching sports, movies, anime, playing videos games and spending time with his partner. Feel free to connect with him on social media: Twitter | Instagram