Are you looking to land your dream job? If so, you want to make sure you’re searching for an internship.
You may not realize it, but internship experience is becoming increasingly common for undergraduates. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found that 62.8% of undergraduates in the class of 2015 had participated in an internship.
If you want to compete for the best jobs, you should ensure that you have a relevant internship as well. The path to your dream job starts with your dream internship.
Like many other job searches, landing your dream internship starts online. You need to have a professional, visible online profile to get a dream internship.
Your online profile isn’t just an About Page. It’s the totality of what someone finds about you when they search your name and social media presence.
Here are five tips to make your online profile stand out.
Develop a Personal Brand
It’s never too early to begin to develop a cohesive personal brand. A personal brand is the basis of your online profile because it holds together all the pieces of your online presence.
You may think that personal branding is only for millionaires and gurus, but that’s far from the truth. A personal brand is key to successfully marketing yourself and landing your dream internship.
Don’t be afraid to start a personal brand because you’re still in school. It’s ok for your online profile and brand to evolve over time. When you start today, you’ll ensure that companies are seeing you at your best.
When you build your personal brand, you use social media, videos, and pictures to create a cohesive picture of who you are and what your goals are. Use these elements strategically to create your online profile.
Make the Most of LinkedIn
While your entire online presence is part of your online profile, LinkedIn may be the most important element.
You may think that LinkedIn is just Facebook for old business people.
LinkedIn is a powerful professional network and it’s where many business owners and recruiters look for applicants. In fact, 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn as a starting point for finding qualified employees.
Having a great LinkedIn presence is like having your resume already sent to 87% of recruiters in the business world. That should get your attention!
Here are some must-haves when it comes to your LinkedIn online profile:
- A professional photo. Not a selfie!
- An informative and catchy headline to your profile. It should share who you are and what you’re excited about doing.
- A great summary section. Think of like your cover letter to new employers.
- Relevant experience. Write about other internships, jobs, courses, and work projects you’ve had that tie into what you want to do next. Don’t forget volunteer work!
Maintain Professional Conversations and Presence
An online profile is more than just what you say about yourself in the biography. It’s also about what you do online.
Beyond making sure that your LinkedIn profile is an accurate representation of your skills and experience, participate in discussions in relevant professional groups. Not only will this show up when someone searches your LinkedIn profile, it will attract the attention of professionals who may have internships to offer.
On Facebook, share news stories, industry information, and expert opinions about your industry. Talk about conferences you’ve attended, hackathons, or volunteer experiences that are relevant to your industry. Use relevant hashtags appropriately as well. Of course, keep your pictures of late night parties off your professional profile.
Finally, make sure your publicly available posts have proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. You want to sound as educated as you are!
Have a Wow Factor
You want to make sure you stand out from among other applicants. In order to this, you need something unique – a wow factor.
The best wow factors are elements of your online profile that showcase who you uniquely are. No one can copy you. There are a number of fun ways to showcase your personality and professional skills in your online profile. Consider these ideas:
- Create a video resume. Video is exploding online, and YouTube ranks highly in Google search. If your potential internship company searches your name – and they will – having them find a fun video resume is perfect!
- Create an online campaign. Creating a viral campaign or hashtag can be a fun way to catch the attention of a company you’d love to intern with. This should be done carefully so it doesn’t seem desperate.
- Show your sense of humor. The key to remember when creating an online profile with a wow factor is that no one can duplicate your personality. Someone may have the same education from the same school, but no one is you. Show your sense of humor and personality in your online profile.
Share Your Profile Widely
Your online profile is only great if the right person sees it! Share your profile wherever you have the chance.
Include your LinkedIn profile information on your resume. Have friends and family share your profile links and social media updates with their networks. Create business cards that have links to your online profiles and videos.
Networking is one of the most important aspects of landing your dream internship and your dream job. 80% of job openings are never advertised. That means that if you want to have a great chance at landing your dream internship, your online profile needs to be shared as widely as possible.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you landed the perfect internship not because of someone you know, but because of someone they know, or two or three more connections down the line?
The truth is, it happens every day. That’s why having a great online profile is so important.
When you follow these five tips, your online profile will be several steps ahead of most of your peers. That means you’ll be in the best position to land that dream internship – and the dream job that follows.