LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional network, used by 93% of recruiting companies to actively search for job applicants. Learn how to not only create a professional LinkedIn profile, but how to use the system effectively.

Building a Professional Profile

Maximize the Profile Headline

  • “Slogan” for your professional brand that is concise but memorable.
  • Examples: “Recent honors graduate seeking marketing position” or “Biology student, Gardner-Webb University”.

Use a Professional Photograph

  • This isn’t Facebook. Use a quality and professional image of a headshot only.

Use your Education to your advantage

  • Add details such as your major/minor.
  • Highlight activities including study abroad, internships, etc.
  • Provide a short paragraph with additional details (can list more info here than in a resume).

Create a Summary Statement

  • Provide a few paragraphs about your goals and qualifications. Bullet points or block paragraphs make for easy reading. Information can be less formal than a resume and in first person.

Keywords are Helpful

  • Phrases or key words can be used to help hiring managers find your profile.
  • Use keywords in the “specialties” section and use job postings and other resources to find keywords that apply to you and appeal to your potential job.

Keep your status up-to-date

  • Add information weekly about events, projects, or other news you share on “pulse.” It keeps you on the radar of other professionals.

Connect with Professionals and Groups

  • Joining groups (and having those groups indicated on your profile) is attractive to employers. Check out professional organizations in your area of study.

Collect Recommendations

  • LinkedIn allows you to display recommendations from professionals. Find a diverse range of individuals willing to share a reference.

Claim your URL

  • Set your LinkedIn profile to “public” and claim your unique URL. This makes it easier to search for you and means you can add your URL to resumes and electronic signatures, etc.

Share Your Work

  • Connect a professional blog, website, or other social network through LinkedIn.
  • Share a downloadable version of your resume or other information like PowerPoint.