Beyond the Application: Improving Your Presence on LinkedIn

As a recent college graduate, something I’ve been working on is tweaking my online presence to impress advertising professionals. Facebook and Twitter are now second nature to me, but LinkedIn has always felt a little strange. After growing tired of guessing what’s appropriate etiquette for LinkedIn, I decided to ask the woman who’s in charge of finding the best and brightest for HLK - HR Director, Meredith Osborn.  

One thing that surprised me was how influential LinkedIn is when landing an interview. When Meredith receives an application, she says that the first thing she does is go straight to the applicant’s LinkedIn profile. It allows for a more in-depth, proactive search that isn’t narrowed to one page. It’s an important part of her hiring process, and since she’s the one who does the hiring for the Launchpad internship, here are a few tips she gave me on how to best use LinkedIn to your advantage:

1. Include a hyperlink of your profile on your resume. This will take Meredith directly to your page and will ensure that she receives even more detail on all of your past experiences. Plus, you’ll save her more time, and that could potentially get you some brownie points.

2. Don’t be shy – ask for a recommendation from a professor or supervisor. LinkedIn recommendations give the writer more flexibility to write about you how they want and when they want. It’s much easier, more personal and takes less time than formal letters of recommendation.  

3. Connect with whomever you can. The more people that you connect with, the wider your search possibilities. You do not have to be the person’s best friend or co-worker before you can connect with them. Make sure to include a personal note if the person you want to connect with isn’t a just a peer or friend from school.

4. You can join up to 50 groups – start joining! Groups are a great way to learn about job openings and networking events. It also shows that you keep up with industry news and might even offer opportunities to interact with agencies.

5. Maintain contact with recruiters. If you notice regular job postings, keep in contact about once every month. Other than that, send a friendly note about every two months or so. This shows them that you’re interested.

6. Ask about potential internships or freelance work if there isn’t an opening. You know, it never hurts to ask! Internships and freelance work are one of the best ways to get your foot in the door. It will also show that you’re a proactive go-getter. Who wouldn’t want to hire that?

7. NO grammar mistakes. A profile that’s sloppily made is worse than having no profile at all. 

P.S. If you’re interested in interning here at HLK, Meredith is the gal that you need to know. Here are a few things about the woman who started the Launchpad program and gave me all of this wonderful LinkedIn advice.


The lady who helped launch Launchpad, Meredith Osborn, HR Director at HLK.

Meredith received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Southern Illinois University. After undergrad, she pursued a Master’s of Human Developmental Counseling at the University of Illinois. She spent the first several years of her career working as a Counselor at Saint Louis University while she also advised for several different Greek organizations. Meredith says that her experience in higher education has given her more opportunities networking with career counselors, universities and recent graduates. If you want to connect with Meredith, here is her LinkedIn.