It is a bit difficult since she her life experiences are still developing and a lot of the people she deals with (bosses at her job as a lifeguard, college advisors, band mates, etc) have fairly private LinkedIn profiles requiring "InMail" to connect.
Have you addressed this in your social networking adventures? Do you have any other suggestions I can pass on to her?
A: Excellent question! First of all, kudos to you if you are a parent reading this and who is interested in helping your high school child to get started on LinkedIn. Double-kudos to you if your child has either expressed an interest in learning about LinkedIn, or if they're willing to take advice from you! (hey - I remember what it was like to be 17!)
I've been thinking about this request since I received it in my LinkedIn inbox and several tips come to mind right away. If you are a high school student getting ready to graduate and considering LinkedIn, here is the advice I would offer:
1. Make sure your parent or guardian knows you are setting up an account on LinkedIn. Together, read "LinkedIn for Parents and Educators" which offers tips for minors. http://help.linkedin.com/app/safety/answers/detail/a_id/38599
2. Set up a profile, keeping in mind that LinkedIn is a purely professional network. Do not add your birthdate. Do not add any personal information that would not be relevant to include on a resume or job application.
3. Keep it professional, from head to toe. That means use a professional looking headshot on your profile. Head and shoulders only. Not a glamour shot. Senior photo might be OK as long as you're not posing outdoors or with a football uniform. Or with your pet. (Do kids still pose with their pets?)
4. Celebrate any educational or community service achievements in your profile.
5. When describing work experience, avoid a job description. If you worked at a restaurant in high school (like I did), skip the description of what a waitress is and how you took orders and bussed tables. Instead, focus on the fact that you learned customer service and marketing skills.
6. Start inviting people to connect with you using the LinkedIn "invite to connect" tool. Personalize every invitation. Read my blog on this topic:http://15minutesadayonlinkedin.blogspot.com/2011/02/personalize-your-invites-for-more.html
7. Invite me to connect with you. I will be happy to introduce you to people in the future. I
make it a practice to only connect with people I know and who personalize their invitations. Or who respond when I ask them, "have we met?" Because of this, I have a powerful, engaged LinkedIn connection list. By reading this blog, I know you're a superstar that I'd like to connect with, too. ps. YOU ROCK.
|This is the photo I have |
on my LinkedIn Profile.
Notice the difference?
Which one looks more professional?
~ Brenda Meller
8. Look for other high school students on LinkedIn. Review their profiles. You'll quickly learn what to do and what not to do.
9. Start joining groups of interest to you. Thinking of a career in sports management? There's a group for that. Have a dream college? Join their group and follow their university page. Then, start participating in discussions.
10. Spend 15 minutes a day on LinkedIn, every day for a month. Then spend at least 15 minutes a day on LinkedIn once a week. Need ideas on what to do during those visits? Read my other blog posts.
One thing I've learned in the six years I've been on LinkedIn is that I always learn from others. In fact, when I was sitting down to write this post, I asked my Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections, and Twitter followers to share tips for high schoolers getting started on LinkedIn. Here is their advice and their LinkedIn profiles.
Invite them to connect with you and mention this blog. And tell them "THANKS" for the tip. Us "grown ups" are big on manners and it impresses us when young people appreciate us.