Building Your LinkedIn Profile

Utilizing LinkedIn is a key step in the job search process…

  • 87% of recruiters and hiring managers source for candidates on LinkedIn
  • Recruiters will spend more time reading your profile than they will with your resume
  • Over 61 million companies are on LinkedIn
  • Every minute 6 people get hired through LinkedIn
  • Every year, there are over 3 million new hires via LinkedIn

LinkedIn Profile Tips by Section 

Now that you are convinced it is worth setting up a LinkedIn Profile, OCS will break down the LinkedIn Profile by each section and provide specific tips on creating and improving your profile:

 

  • The worst photo to have is no photo!
  • Profiles with a photo are ~14x more likely to be viewed.
  • The profile photo should be a recent picture of you.
  • Appear approachable, with some personality and not too serious.
  • Your face should take up most of the frame.
  • A professional-looking close-up of your face in front of a neutral background works well.
  • Avoid having distractions or non-work related items in the photo.
  • Wear what you would wear to work.
  • Consider taking a professional headshot.

  • Along with your profile photo, this is part of your visual brand image so be sure to include something.
  • Use a high-quality image as a blurry background photo will leave a poor impression.
  • Below are some ideas on what to post for your background image:
    • A scene at Yale such as the skyline or other stock photo which you can change with the seasons.
    • Photo from an activity you are involved in such as performance, sports, student organization event.
    • Action shot of you while doing your work, extracurricular activity or presentation.
    • Create an image using Canva or another tool that shows your interests or your ideal job or that highlights 3-4 of your main skills.
    • If you have a specific professional interest, find a stock image of that area. For example: microscope for a scientist; blueprint for architect; paint for artist; keyboard/code for coder.
  • Be sure to check how your image looks across different devices (laptop, cell phone and desktop computer) and different browsers.

  • Your Headline should be under 120 characters and can be skimmed in 30 seconds or less.
  • It can list your career focus and components of work. Students who lack work experience can include something about academics or extracurricular activities.
  • Your headline should not just contain a job title & company if you are looking for a job.
  • Go beyond simply putting “student.” See Sample LinkedIn Headlines in section below.
  • Depending on your goals, include industry-related keywords, core skills, strengths, talents and interests.
  • Consider the following questions: What makes you unique? Where is your career headed? How would others describe you? What are your values and personal traits?
  • Your professional headline is especially important because it’s the text that gets displayed in search results for both Google and LinkedIn.

  • Editorial Intern at The Mirror, Yale Sophomore Majoring in English
  • Committed to Advocacy Work to Help Stop Human Trafficking 
  • Yale PhD Student, Leading Communications for Yale Graduate Student Assembly
  • Yale Environmental Studies Major invested in Climate Change
  • Yale Student Athlete with Advanced Editing Skills
  • Yale Senior Seeking Digitial Advertising Positions
  • Yale Sophomore Economics Major Seeking Finance Internship in Chicago

  • Here is a Template Example to get your started: As a student, I have devoted my studies to ______, and am seeking employment in the following areas: _______ and _____ . My work as a _____ and ______ complemented my academic coursework at Yale University and allowed me to develop an understanding of ________. I am excited to apply my strengths in _______ and ________ to the field of ________.
  • Then build off of that with these examples: “My interests lie at the interface of …” “What I enjoy most about my work involves…”  “My technical expertise includes…” “I aspire to focus my time on leading…”
  • Most summaries are 3-5 short paragraphs.
  • Use numbers as much as you can to quantify your experience & accomplishments.
  • Add specific, tangible details.
  • Avoid jargon and common “buzz words” like innovation, strategic, organizational, motivated, dynamic.
  • If you have a particular job that you plan to apply for, try identifying the most frequently used keywords and consider incorporating them into your summary if relevant to your background.
  • Include a call to action. For example: how you would like your audience to contact you?
  • For more sample summaries, go to OCS Sample LinkedIn Summaries.

  • Take your Resume that you have reviewed with OCS and put all of those details into your experience section, including the specific descriptions for each position you have held.
  • Because you are not limited to the one-page rule here, you can even expand your descriptions if needed.
  • Use multimedia whenever you can to enhance your experiences and showcase your accomplishments visually (see Using Multimedia below for more tips).
  • Use specific, qualitative descriptions.
  • Include numbers to quantify your successes.
  • Put experiences into context.
  • If on the job market, include your current job since recruiters will oftentimes use the current title box to search through candidates.
  • This section is similar to a resume or CV, but you can decide what story you want to tell and put your spin on it and put each experience into context.

  • Adding Multimedia to your Experience section allows the reader to get specific examples of your accomplishments that you may not have explicitly described, and it is a unique visual that differs from the typical resume.
  • Include any YDN articles about you or a group you are in under the entry for that particular extracurricular activity.
  • Post PDFs of your resume (remove address first), published work, and posters.
  • Post relevant videos in which you have been featured (for work or student groups).
  • Post group projects (with permission).

  • Including a relevant list of skills on your profile allows others in your network to endorse you and helps them understand your strenghts and match you with the right opportunities.
  • Skills with the most endorsements will be listed first.
  • LinkedIn allows you to add up to 50 skills.
  • When adding your skills, consider your hard skills, soft skills and software that you know how to use.
  • The top 3 skills are always visible, so make sure they align with skills mentioned in your Summary Section. 
  • Research to figure out what are the most relevant skills for the roles you are applying for and make sure those align with your skills section.

  • Recommendations can come from former supervisors, coworkers, clients, vendors, professors or fellow students.
  • Ideally you want to have a balance of your peers, supervisors and both people who you managed or mentored and those who you directly reported to.
  • Give yourself a goal of adding 3-5 Recommendations.
  • When asking for a recommendation, try to give them a specific request about what you hope they can speak to in reference to your performance or character.
  • See LinkedIn Recommendation Request Samples for more ideas.

  • Include in reverse chronological order, Yale and any other schools or programs.
  • This section also has the option for you to include extracurricular activities under your education section. However, if you want to describe the work that you have done with any of your extracurricular activities, you can add them in the experience section instead.

  • Populate your Profile with Connections – Start by searching for people you know and send them an invitation to connect. Be sure to customize your invitation as most people won’t accept a generic invitation. Keep in mind online networking does not replace in-person relationship building.
  • Share updates and interesting content – New accomplishments and industry announcements, a blog post you’ve written or an article that people in your network may want to read.
  • Invite past and current coworkers, classmates, friends and family to connect – Decide whether you will accept connections from people you have never met which is a personal choice. Some people choose to only accept if they’re interested in developing a professional relationship with the person and their field of work is somehow related.
  • Join groups – This will help you strengthen connections with people who share common skills, experiences, industry affiliations and goals.
  • Follow Companies of interest – This allows you to receive alerts when any news (including jobs) arises.

  • Turn notifications off temporarily so people in your circle are not bombarded with your updates.
  • Proofread so there are no errors or typos and ask others for feedback.
  • Completeness is the goal so aim to fill out every section.
  • Put a lot of time into your profile upfront and then make smaller updates/changes to maintain.
  • Claim your personalized URL by referring to these simple steps from LinkedIn and consider including it at the top of your resume.

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