I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Kevin Paul Scott, the co-founder of the ADDO Institute in Atlanta for an article that focuses on how students should use their time over the summer. Scott and the ADDO Institute work with students throughout the country in developing leadership abilities through a variety of ways.
As journalists, it’s crucial for us to get our names out there through strong networking and top-notch connections.
He was BIG on using the time off to intern rather than getting a job.
“It’s vitally important to intellectually invest in opportunities that provide a platform [for the future,]” Scott said.
And he said resumes will help but not as much as the experience will.
“They’re secondary to the story you have to tell,” he said. “The real life story is more attractive to the person interviewing you.”
He said the worst thing students can do is nothing and that they should be involved someway in order to develop that “story.”
One way to let others see your stories is to start using LinkedIn. (If you don’t have one yet, I strongly suggest creating a profile.)
I like to think of LinkedIn as a creative, professional, Facebook profile. It lets others see your accomplishments, jobs, educational history and much, much more. It also showcases the profiles of businesses and their hiring managers…people with whom you should become very familiar.
There are some steps you can take to optimize your LinkedIn profile so that you’re getting that most out of it and impressing the right people.
Take a look at the headline. You have 120 characters at the top of your profile to describe to the world what you do. Many people just put their official job title. Again that’s many people. OR you can REALLY use the system to your advantage.
Choose descriptive and compelling keywords make you as marketable as possible, help you get found by the right people. Remember, LinkedIn is a search engine.
Work on your summary. It could be a “copy & paste” of your resume’s summary section…but it could read more like your bio. You could list a few skills you bring to the table.
You could take an accomplishments approach and list the three or four big results you have achieved on behalf of your past experiences or employers
Make yourself searchable and marketable. Employers want candidates who will fit the company culture, so you need to research the culture of your ideal companies and embody it in your profile. Take advantage of the opportunity to stand out and land the perfect job.
Finding a spot to tell your story will be a HUGE benefit. And with LinkedIn, you’re sure to get it out there.