LinkedIn Student Profile[footnoteRef:1] [1: Taken and adapted from Manhattan College Center for career development https://manhattan.edu/student_life/center-career-development/jasper-professional-basics/set-your-linkedin-profile and Columbia University Center for Career Education http://www.careereducation.columbia.edu/resources/tipsheets/linkedin-profile-checklist]
LinkedIn is an effective tool to network with others virtually. In order to allow employers, recruiters, and others to find you, you need a profile that stands out and will entice professionals to contact you once they view your profile. Use the below guidelines to optimize your visibility and showcase your best work.
· 94% of recruiters use or plan to use social media in their recruitment efforts and 93% of recruiters are likely to look at a candidate’s social profile according to Jobvite’s 2013 Social Recruiting Survey Results [footnoteRef:2] [2: http://www.jobvite.com/resources/ebooks/]
· Allows for a passive job search and enhances Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
· Supports your traditional job search documents; shares professional information beyond your resume
· Expands your network beyond first degree connections and who you know
· Allows you to research organizations and industries of interest
Step 1: Go to www.linkedin.com
Step 2: Follow sign-up instructions to create a new profile or edit your profile by going over your profile then click on the edit of the part you want to update.
Step 3: Upload a photo. Remember that your image is viewed by potential employers and networkers. Therefore, choose a picture that is professional and is focused close up on your face. You should be the only one seen in the photo
Step 4: Edit basic information by clicking the “Edit” button on the right side of your name. Fill out essential information about yourself including the professional “headline.” (Example: BNFN student at Dar Al Hekma University). If you do not customize it, the default setting is your current position’s job title. Edit the headline to reflect a brand statement that will attract attention.
Hint: Be creative so your headline will stand out. Use key words related to your intended profession or industry.
Hint: Claim your public profile URL by clicking “Edit” next to the URL under your picture. Go to “Your public profile URL” and create a custom one for example: ?????
Hint: The websites, now located in “Contact Information” under your photo and headline, is a great place to link to blogs and other websites. Choose “Other” as the website type, and then specify the title of the website such as “?????? Twitter Account”. You may want to also include important websites in the Summary section, which will be more immediately visible
Step 5: Add your summary in the “Summary” section. Your summary is similar to an elevator pitch or professional overview and the goal is to differentiate yourself from others. Write it in the first person focusing on answering the below main questions:
· Who are you professionally?
· What do you do (or want to do)?
· Why are you unique?
· What are your skills and specialties
Example: A creative and enthusiastic business student with a focus in banking and finance. Undertook a part-time job as a financial analyst at ???? while being a full-time student. Strong in verbal and written communication. You may add any presentations, documents, projects, or videos to this section as well.
Hint: Be sure to include keywords for your industry; review job descriptions and other professionals’ profiles, as well as the Skills tool, to get more ideas on which keywords to use. This section is extremely important for search engine optimization (SEO) which allows you to figure in the first search results of search engines like Google.
Step 6: Go to the Experience Section and on the right, click “Add a Position”. Use action verbs and describe your work clearly and succinctly. You must add at least 3 experiences which can include volunteer, internship, research, independent and professional work experiences. Note that volunteer experiences could instead also be listed in a separate “Volunteering & Causes” section. Indicate if you are currently employed in the position or not. Do not forget to mention dates and duties.
Hint: You can now post presentation materials, writing samples, videos, and other industry-related materials to highlight the work you completed at each job.
Step 7: Go to the education section and edit it to include all education as well as honors, awards, activities, significant projects, relevant courses, and/or other highlights.
Hint: You can receive recommendations from professors, which could be connected to this section. You can also add a link to videos, images, documents, or presentations to showcase any school-related work and projects.
Hint: You can always reorder and add sections that are not part of the standard template. As a student, you want to have the education come first after your Summary section or add a Project section to highlight your relevant courses and industry knowledge and skills.
Hint: Make sure to use the use Dar Al-Hekma University name in your Education profile so that the standard logo of the university appears.
Step 8: Add languages, skills and expertise. Indicate basic and more relevant skills. Add up to 10 skills to your profile (a minimum of five is recommended); this is another important section for SEO
Hint: Review LinkedIn profiles of professionals in your specialization or read job descriptions that have specific skills as your reference. Use this tool to identify pertinent skills for your industry, find professionals in your field, and find groups and companies in your industry. As your network endorses your skills, be sure to return the favor (if appropriate). Skills with the most endorsements will be listed first.
Step 9: Go to Additional Information section and update the content there. It is optional to add website links and Twitter accounts. Include your interests, both professional and personal; professional interests should relate somewhat to your field and personal interests should be unique. As for groups, you must join at least two professional and/or social groups. LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups as a free account user and here are some recommendations. Do not forget to add any honors or awards that you want to highlight.
Hint: Make sure to join the Dar Al-Hekma University group as well as the BNFN’s Students and Alumnae group.
Hint: You can add additional sections such as:
· Test Scores
· Honors and Awards
· Volunteering & Causes
Step 10: Be careful what you share in your Personal Information section. Adding your phone number is optional, but DO NOT include your address, birthday or marital status. If you choose to do this, please adjust your private settings so that you can control how people view your information.
Step 11: Unlike Facebook, you want your profile to be as open as possible so that potential employers can find and reach out to you about opportunities. You can control how people view your information and status updates in Settings. Privacy settings can be edited under the “View Profile.” Review how people will see your page. You can always change the settings in the drop-down box under your name tab on the upper right hand corner of the screen.
Step 12: Send requests to connect with people. In general, connections should only be made with people who you have a personal or professional relationship with; ideally, you would be able to recommend each other for networking or job opportunities. Always customize connection requests; this adds a personal touch and will remind the person who you are. Continue to maintain your LinkedIn connections and add new ones as you meet people at networking events, future jobs, etc. You can remove connections should you wish and the person will not be notified
Hint: Begin by connecting with family and friends; the more first degree connections you have, the more helpful your second degree connections you will have and the more helpful they will be. Connect with classmates and professors, as well as with employers and colleagues at internships and jobs
Step 13: Request recommendations. When requesting a recommendation, your recommender must be a LinkedIn member. Customize the recommendation request to share why you are looking for a recommendation and what you would specifically like them to highlight; this will help each recommendation to cover different aspects of your skills and qualifications
Hint: It is ideal to have 1-2 recommendations for each of your most recent work/project experiences. If you have worked with the person previously, you can recommend them and then ask for a recommendation in return
Profile strength is displayed on the right side of your profile with a profile strength meter; hold your cursor over the meter to see the next level of strength that you can reach. To increase your profile strength, update your profile regularly and include the following in your profile:
· Industry and location
· Current position
· Two past job positions
· Five skills
· At least 10 connections
More information and guidelines can be found at:
Profile rubric[footnoteRef:3] [3: Adapted from Boston College Career Center rubric http://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/offices/careers/pdf/LinkedIn%20Profile%20Effectiveness%20Rubric%20for%20Website%20Sept%202014.pdf]
|BEGINNER||INTERMEDIATE||ADVANCED||WEIGHTED TOTAL OVER 100|
|1 POINT||2 POINTS||3 POINTS|
|PHOTO (optional)||No picture or does not portray professional image.||Cropped photo from personal life or a “selfie”, too far away or too close; distracting background; obvious cropping with other people in it; clothing style good, but not professional.||Professional-quality photo, business-appropriate attire, no distracting background; good smile; headshot clearly showing face.
|HEADLINE (5%)||“Student at Dar Al Hekma University”, Current title (default).||Expanded “student at Dar Al Hekma University” headline.||Engaging headline (120 characters or less) that reflects personal brand, summarizes ambition, catches attention and entices reader to read further.|
|SUMMARY (10%)||No or little summary provided.||Limited summary that does not express interest or tie in past experience(s).||Summary briefly describes previous related experience or connects background, skill sets, and interests, conveys direction / ambition / passion, spells out goals or accomplishments, contains keywords relevant to industry.|
|EXPERIENCE (10%)||No or very little descriptions for positions (too vague).||Descriptions lack details, are unclear, and/or do not include accomplishments. Missing dates or any description of tasks and duties.||A full, critiqued resume has been uploaded, or descriptions that encapsulate skills, duties, and accomplishments with years worked at each job or activity are provided.|
|RECOMMENDATIONS (10%)||No recommendations.||One or two recommendations, recommendations from colleagues or classmates. [footnoteRef:4] [4: For the Intermediate and advance, copy of sent recommendation requests are accepted at this level]||Three or more recommendations listed. Recommendations from former manager(s) or current supervisor(s), advisors.|
|SKILLS AND EXPERTISE (10%)||No skills and expertise listed.||Less than 5 skills and expertise listed but none is endorsed.||5 or more skills and expertise are listed. Skills and expertise are endorsed by others.|
|EDUCATION (10%)||No information about education is provided.||School(s)/High school(s)/University (ies) listed. Missing dates of attendance with expected graduation year.||Full education history provided including institution(s), dates, degree(s), majors, minors, and any study abroad.|
|ADDITIONAL INFO (5%)||No interests listed. No contact info provided.||Interests are generic or do not give a flavor of student’s personality. Contact info is listed, but no other information is provided.||Several interests are listed and reveal personality
Specific details are provided about interested opportunities and availability.
|ADDITIONAL SECTIONS (10%)||No additional sections other than the standard profile sections.||One or two additional sections but no focus on projects and awards.||More than two additional sections including projects, languages, awards as well as existence of link to videos, images, documents, or presentations to showcase any school-related work and projects.|
|CONNECTIONS (10%)||Little to no connections.||Few (less than 10) connections only with classmates and family.||Connections with people from the same field/specialization.|
|GROUPS (10%)||No group membership.||Member of groups relevant to specialization.||Follows and engages in relevant groups. Joined the university and department groups.|
|OVERALL COMPLETENESS OF PROFILE (10%)||The profile has incorrect information, typos, or is out of date, and few connections.||The profile provides some information, but does not provide an accurate portrait of student’s direction or experience. Some effort has been made to obtain more connections. May or may not have endorsements or recommendations.||The profile demonstrates a depth of understanding by providing completeness in all relevant fields. Many connections have been made; these connections provide endorsements for skills and expertise and recommendations.|