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LinkedIn & Professional Online Identity

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Social media is a powerful tool, but if not managed wisely your online identity could be harmful. Follow these tips to maintain a professional online presence.

  • If you have a common name, consider using a middle name/initial on your resume and your online profile.
  • Assume everything you post will be seen by potential employers; when in doubt make it private.
  • Search your name and make certain you are comfortable with the returns - if not, adjust your privacy settings.
  • Focus on building your professional identity (such as on LinkedIn) so any less flattering information appears lower.

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The Importance of a LinkedIn Profile

Point: LinkedIn has quickly become an important part of a success career search. Many organizations actively search LinkedIn for summer interns and full-time employees. In addition, thousands of internships and jobs are posted daily and can be sorted by industry, job function, location and much more.

Check out these helpful LinkedIn resources and tip sheets:

Tips for Building Your LinkedIn Profile

Once you build your LinkedIn profile, consider including the public URL at the top of your resume, just under your name with your email and phone number.

  • Professional "Headline": After your name, this is the first line viewers see. Go beyond simply putting “student." (Examples: Marketing Intern-Teach for America/Yale University Senior/Graduate Student or Yale University Graduate Student Seeking Digital Advertising Positions or Junior Environmental Studies Major at Yale University).
  • Photo: This is the first image a viewer will have of you. Be mindful of how you want to project yourself and be sure that it is appropriate for the audience.
  • LinkedIn URL: Claim your personalized URL.
  • Summary: Highlight your key work experiences and accomplishments. Include specialties and skills. Keep it concise, specific and keyword rich.

Tip: Sample Summary:
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 ________.

  • Experience: Include experiences relevant to your career goals, any activities and leadership roles. Give a brief description of each position, the dates you worked and the name of the organization, similar to what you have on your resume.
  • Education: Include, in reverse chronological order, Yale and any other schools or programs.
  • Additional Sections & Information: You can add additional sections to your profile, or incorporate this information in your education, experience or summary sections, such as languages, volunteer experiences, courses, certifications, publications, honors & awards, personal website, groups and associations, interests, skills and expertise.
  • Applications: LinkedIn Applications enable you to enrich your profile, such as Creative Portfolio Display, Blog Link, Word Press, Company Buzz.
  • LinkedIn Groups: Join groups that are of interest to you and you will receive periodic emails and be able to engage with others in the group.
  • Populate your profile with connections: First search for people you know in the Advanced Search section and send them an invitation to connect. Be sure to customize your invitation as most people won’t accept an invitation from someone they’ve never met. Keep in mind online networking does not replace in-person relationship building.

Tip: Yale LinkedIn Groups: STAY, Yale University Alumni, Association of Yale Alumni, Creative Yale Alumni Network