6 Ways to Leverage Your Internship Experience on LinkedIn

Leveraging LinkedInThe typical college student isn’t really into LinkedIn… at least not yet. Without much professional experience, many wonder who to connect with and how to make your career-to-date look attractive.

Once you score an internship, though, things are looking up for you on LinkedIn!

Here are six ways you can leverage your internship experience when using LinkedIn:

1. Connect with Your Coworkers

Here’s your chance to connect with people in the professional world, and in an industry of interest to you! It is appropriate to send an invitation to anyone you have worked directly with, as well as anyone to whom you reported. Make sure you personalize your invitation; do not just send the generic message!

Timeline: Near the end of your internship.

2. Connect with Other Interns and Entry-level Professionals

You may be the only intern in a small company. Or you may be one of hundreds of interns in specialized programs and big programs. Either way, don’t forget to connect with your peers and other young careerists. After all, you never know who might be your future boss.

Timeline: Anytime during your internship.

3. Follow the Company Where You’re Interning

Following companies is a great way to see the latest job postings, blog posts, hiring news and more. The company logo will appear on your profile under ‘Following.’ While you’re at it, go ahead and follow more companies you’re interested in! LinkedIn explains how to follow a company (or unfollow one) here.

Timeline: As soon as possible.

4. Ask for Recommendations

While it’s nice to have endorsements on your profile, what really counts are recommendations. (The ones where people actually have to write something about you and your work.)

Send requests for recommendations to your internship supervisor, other professionals you have worked closely with while at the company, and mentors. When you send the request, make sure to specify in what specific area or skill you would like to be recommended. Perhaps it is your work on a specific project, your work ethic or overall professionalism. This will make it easier for the person providing the recommendation to follow through, thus scoring you even more bonus points!

This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: If you had a troublesome internship, for any reason, and you don’t think you would receive a good recommendation, don’t ask for one. Here’s how to request a recommendation.

Timeline: Soon after leaving your internship.

5. Provide Recommendations

Receiving an unsolicited recommendation on LinkedIn is one of life’s pleasures. Everyone likes hearing good things about themselves, and then displaying them on their profile for others to see. Right?

From the people you interacted with at your internship, who can you genuinely recommend? Who helped guide you? Answered your questions? Made you feel comfortable and part of the team?

Take a few minutes to write a recommendation. A paragraph will do. Read recommendations on other people’s profiles to get a feel for what they look like. Write the recommendation in your own voice and write like a human. Here’s how to recommend someone on LinkedIn.

Timeline: Soon after leaving your internship.

6. Follow Influencers and Channels

Do your company CEO, CMO or other executives blog? Publish on LinkedIn? Is there an influencer like like Richard Branson, Ban Ki-moon, and Arianna Huffington you’d like to learn more from?. Once you follow an Influencer, their new posts show up in your newsfeed.

The same goes for LinkedIn Channels. By subscribing to a Channel, you will get a steady stream of articles on a specific topic. Accounting, Design, Green Business and Careers: Getting Started are just a few of the many Channels available. Pick the ones that interest you the most and then read, like, share and comment.

Timeline: Anytime you feel like getting smarter.

Think of LinkedIn as a ‘Facebook for the Working World’ (minus the drinking pix). In just 15 minutes per day, this is where you grow your network, share your accomplishments, find like-minded individuals, and learn what it takes to be a successful professional in the 21st century!


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at School of Information Studies at Syracuse University.




Kelly LuxAbout the Author: Kelly is the Director of Social Media and Adjunct Professor at the Syracuse University iSchool. She also co-founded #CMGRchat, a weekly twitter chat for community managers. Kelly’s new passion is content strategy and she is teaching a class this fall on Content Strategy for the Web at Syracuse University. Follow Kelly on Twitter!




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