Do’s and Dont’s for Building your Professional Network

If you’re sniffing around our blog, chances are either you or someone you know may one day be interested in working with or at the Bag (and if you aren’t, give me a call as I will try to convince you otherwise!) As the resident talent recruiter at Brown Bag, this post goes out to all the early-career folks who want to be a Bagger someday. Let’s start with the DO’s & DONT’s of using LinkedIn.

DO create a LinkedIn Profile during your final semester of college.

  • LinkedIn makes it incredibly easy to display your resume.
  • When someone applies to work here, this is the first place I go. Without a profile, I move on to the next.
  • When I see a well-done profile, I take pause and read thoroughly. If you take yourself seriously, I probably will too.

DO include details.

  • Your Headline and Summary should tell me the what and why behind your career aspirations.
  • Part-time, Full-time, Internships—include them all!
  • Choose five of your skills that are applicable to the career you are pursuing.
  • Don’t be afraid to showcase yourself!

DON’T assume the picture you choose doesn’t matter. It does.

Kelly Campbell

  • You must have a picture. It’s a bit like the empty house at the end of the street—the unknown causes speculation that something is off.
  • Like any social situation, first impressions matter.
  • I can’t say this loud enough: Avoid selfies. You don’t need a professional headshot but do fit the photo from the top of your head to the bottom of your shoulders.
  • We love unique personalities, but keep your clothing and background simple and do not distract from the goal of appearing approachable.
  • Though our website may lead you to think otherwise, we are not hiring Fido. Please leave out animals.
  • Smile! Unless you’re auditioning for a part in Snow White, no one wants to hire a grump.

DO begin building your network.

  • Connect with your parents and their friends, extended family members, professors, fellow students and coaches.
  • Connections serve as modern day business cards
  • Stay in touch with your network.
  • Add people to your network who actually know you—this is your network, not a contest.

In conclusion, LinkedIn is your professional brand. Treat it as such and it will have infinite returns.