Navigating co-op and my future as a first-year AFM student

Hi, I’m Julia, and I’m a 1A AFM student. When transitioning from high school to university, making your LinkedIn page may seem complicated (at least for me it felt super intimidating), however, thanks to the SAF Launch Your Career conference, I was able to learn about LinkedIn and how to build a great profile.

Photo of Julia

The LinkedIn 101 session, hosted by Abdullah Haydar, NY R&D Site Lead at LinkedIn was the perfect guide to building a strong profile. First, establish your page by adding your key sections. These five sections are super important so the viewer can get to know you:

  1. Profile photo: Make sure the photo you add is high-quality and is just of you. It can be professional and friendly but remember this is not your Facebook or Instagram for your family and friends. Your LinkedIn should show your professional life, not your personal life.
  2. Education: Include where you’re studying, what you’re studying (program and major), and include when you expect to graduate (if you’re not in university yet, include your high school).
  3. Work experience: This is extremely important! List any job experience, internships, summer jobs, part-time jobs - any work. Make sure to explain your role, and what you accomplished in that role.
  4. Volunteer experience: Have you completed any volunteer work? Volunteer work shows community involvement and additional experience. Charity work, student organizations, Boy or Girl Scouts - it all counts!
  5. Skills: Try to include at least five skills. Skills can include being bilingual, being able to program or code, or any other special skills that you could bring to the workplace.

After LinkedIn 101, I took some time to find a good LinkedIn profile picture, and to fill in all my experiences with corresponding descriptions explaining what I did in the role. Beyond building your profile, LinkedIn is also an amazing networking tool. You can send connections to other people in your industry, students, and alumni. Building these connections will help you network, build relationships, talk to a variety of people in your industry, and learn more about the industry you’re passionate about.

LinkedIn 101 was just one section of Launch Your Career, the event had lots of other information about co-op and representing yourself as a professional. Launch Your Career is a must-attend event!

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