A female student takes a seat on a bench outside Harker Hall to work on her laptop.

Purpose of a LinkedIn Profile

In some ways, your LinkedIn profile is similar to your resume as it is a snapshot of your skills and experiences. But a LinkedIn profile can also be so much more.

Having a profile allows you to go more in depth on your experiences than a traditional resume. You have the space and opportunity to elaborate on key details, further demonstrate your skills, and showcase your samples of work. It is an opportunity to:

  • Comprehensively tell your story. 
  • Share your career vision. 
  • Connect with alumni and professionals. 
  • Join professional groups that interest you and much more.

Additionally, you can receive recommendations from peers, professors, and/or past employers on your profile. This validates your work experience and shows potential employers the value and quality you bring as an employee.

Building Your Profile

Use a professional looking photo as it will serve as the first impression when someone looks at your profile.  

  • Make sure you are alone in your photo, professionally dressed, and in a bright location where your face can be clearly seen.  
  • Make sure you are smiling in your photo. You want to display your personality and come across as someone who is friendly and approachable.  
  • Use a high quality resolution photo. 

Add a headline, which serves the purpose of explaining your areas of study and your career ambitions.

  • Headlines should touch on what you are currently doing and the professional goals you would like to achieve.

Create a summary to explain who you are, your major(s) and minor(s), and career goals.  

  • Your summary is a condensed version of your cover letter that focuses on the skill sets you have to offer an organization. 
  • Be sure to highlight your skills, experiences, and different qualifications.  
  • Explain what types of positions you are currently seeking or different industries you are interested in working for.

Use the experiences section of LinkedIn to expand on your experiences, i.e. jobs, internships, unpaid work, volunteerism, etc.  

  • Focus on the accomplishments, results, and skills you acquired from your experiences.
  • Upload photos, videos, and/or materials you developed within your experience section.

Incorporate the recommendations and the skills section into your profile.   

  • These sections serve as a way for others to validate your experiences to potential employers.  
  • Ask former professors, supervisors, colleagues, and advisors to write a recommendation on your behalf that can speak to your skill sets.

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Maintaining and Updating Your Profile

Just like your resume, your LinkedIn profile is a living document that needs to be updated at least once a semester. Also, be sure to connect with individuals soon after meeting them. Make it a point to stay relevant on their news feed by posting articles specific to your field of interest and sharing best practices.