What is LinkedIn? Why should I use it?
A LinkedIn profile is a must for any professional in the communications field. It’s a way to connect, stay on top of trends in your field, and most importantly — network. LinkedIn makes it exponentially easier to connect with professionals in your field, alumni and other connections.
LinkedIn Profile Checklist:
- Customized cover photo.
- Clear, centered headshot.
- Accurate title. For example, Intern for Congressman James Clyburn or “Public Relations Student at University of South Carolina”
- Accurate "Experience" section. The experience is very important! It is a digital version of your resumé. Once your resumé is in pristine condition, copy and paste your bullet points into the Experience section. This is another way employers will calculate your experience.
- Attach any work samples you have under the appropriate experience. For example, if you have video clips from an internship with ESPN, include those samples in your ESPN experience.
- Add USC in your "Education" section. Please be sure to include your major and graduation year as well.
- Feel free to attach your resumé and portfolio or reel in the “Featured” section.
- Add any volunteer experience under “Volunteer Experience”
- Add any certifications you have under “Licenses and Certifications”
- Feel free to add your courses and scholarships under “Accomplishments”
Sample LinkedIn Message
I’m a current USC student and came across your profile as a mutual connection with Professor Rick Peterson. I will be graduating in 2020, also with a degree in broadcast journalism. Last year, I had an internship at Fox 46 in Charlotte, North Carolina, but am hoping to work for a larger national network one day. I would love to relocate to the NYC/NJ area after graduation, if possible, since I am originally from that area. I really admire you and would love to learn more about career journey. Would you be open to a quick 10-minute phone call sometime in the next few weeks? I know that your time is very valuable! I would really appreciate your time and would be happy to do anything I can to help you in return.
Thank you and Go Gamecocks!
(Adapted from ‘The Best Way to Network with Alumni on LinkedIn’ by Lindsey Pollak)
What is Networking? Why is it important?
Did you know that 85% of critical jobs are filled via networking? Sending off online applications to jobs without networking can lead to mixed results a/k/a a black hole. Some jobs are never even posted online. Networking is widely used by professionals in communications, data/information science and corporate industries. The most common ways to network are through LinkedIn/email, cold calling and In-person events.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Ask questions to learn about the other person.
- Try to establish a connection:
- Try to get the other person to talk about themselves.
- Look for a mutual interest or something personal to connect on.
- Look to learn the other person’s story, experience.
- Ask open ended questions.
- Make eye contact.
- Don’t come right out and directly ask for a job or internship (HUGE no no).
- Don’t ask about their salary.
- Don’t speak negatively about professors, supervisors, employers, etc. This reflects poorly on you, not them. You never know who an alumni may know or who knows them.