Creating a LinkedIn Profile

Purpose of a LinkedIn Profile

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.

You have the space and opportunity to elaborate on key details, further demonstrate your skills, and showcase your samples of work.

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

Did You Know...?

You can receive recommendations and endorsements 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: First Impressions Matter!

  • 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, high-resolution photo. 

Add a Descriptive Headline

  • The purpose of a headline is to explain 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 to expand on 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, endorsements, and 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. They can also endorse your skills.

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.


LinkedIn "in" logo

Download this Checklist to make sure your profile is polished and complete!

LinkedIn Profile Checklist

Example of custom Illinois-themed LinkedIn banner

The Data Science Research Collaborative (UIUC) has provided a tool to customize your own unique LinkedIn Profile banner.

Create your Illinois-Themed LinkedIn Banner