Using LinkedIn

Your LinkedIn should reflect an abbreviated version of your resume but not an exact duplicate. In other words, the places and dates must agree, but all of the resume details should not be included in your online profile. In some cases, this avoids any compromises to information that an employer may consider confidential. Another way to think about anything posted to the internet is that once it’s out there, it’s out there. With a resume on the other hand, you control who sees what and when.

The advantage of using social media in your job search process is that you can use the platform to demonstrate your skills, abilities, personality, interests, and work ethic. The messages that you send, both explicitly and implicitly, through LinkedIn shape how potential employers think about you. Your online presence should inspire people to reach out to get to know you better.

Tips for Enhancing Your LinkedIn Profile

1.  Use a professional-looking photo.

Employers want to see YOU without any distractions in the background. This is not the place to display the cropped photo from your birthday bash or the one from your summer at the lake. Also, ensure that your face is the main focus. It’s okay to use a photo of you taken with a phone camera as long as someone else took the photo. Keep an eye on Handshake for opportunities to have your headshot taken by a professional on campus.

2. Describe yourself in one sentence. Update your headline.

Your LinkedIn headline is your branding statement, clearly identifying who you are. This tagline is what sets you apart from others and should be instantly memorable.

3. Go for gold! Strive for a 100% profile.

LinkedIn tells you how close you are to a complete profile. The closer you can get to 100%, the more likely you will catch the attention of employers who are seeking candidates through the platform. This benchmark shows others that you are serious about your career. However, you should NOT post your full resume on your Linkedin profile. Your LinkedIn profile should be the hook that inspires employers to request your resume.

4. The “About” section is your elevator pitch, but better.

The “About” section at the top of your LinkedIn profile serves as your 24/7, never turned off elevator pitch that people see when they land on your page. Just like when you meet someone for the first time, the more compelling your summary, the more likely that they will want to connect to learn more about you.

5. Be a joiner! Join groups of interest.

Groups of interest allow you to gain insight and information about the topics and industries that interest you. More importantly, they give you the opportunity to connect directly to the members of those groups who are likely to be relevant connections for your future opportunities.

6. Follow the leader to career success.

Choose to follow the CEOs, CFOs, and CIOs of companies that interest you. Not only will you develop your professional connections, but you can also learn from the information that they share on their feeds. These posts are often carefully curated to establish the brand of the leader and the values of the organization. These insights can be invaluable as you speak with alumni and other professionals who work at that company.

LinkedIn Resources

LinkedIn FAQs

  • How do I get more connections? –> Start with your friends. Encourage them to make accounts. Your connections will grow naturally over time but don’t be afraid to add new connections and send a note to professionals in roles that sound interesting to you. This is what LinkedIn is for!
  • Do I have to post a lot? –> LinkedIn is just like any other social media where it is up to you how much you choose to share.
  • Can people see that I have viewed their profile? –> Usually yes. They will get a notification. This isn’t a bad thing (especially if you are interested in a company and networking or interviewing with them) but just be aware of it.
  • Can I see who has viewed my profile? –> Usually yes. Check out your profile’s visibility settings.