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Career Exploration and Success

Checklist to Optimizing your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is an online network of over 450 million members. It’s the go-to place to establish a professional online presence, engage with your network, and search for employment opportunities. Follow these tips to create a stellar LinkedIn presence!

Write a Catchy Profile Headline: Your headline is one of the first things people will see on LinkedIn. Keep it short, memorable, and professional.  Try addressing your area of study and ambition. For example, “Human Resources Major and Aspiring Compensation Analyst,” or some of your skill sets.

Pick an Appropriate Photo: Upload a high-quality headshot photo of yourself alone and professionally dressed and/or appropriately dressed based on the field you intend to work in. No party shots, family photos, or cuddly animal pictures!

Create Your Unique LinkedIn URL: By creating a unique URL (i.e. www.linkedin.com/in/JohnPeters) and setting your LinkedIn profile to “public” you’re increasing the professional results that appear when people search for you online. This is also a more appealing URL to add to your resume!

Develop a Professional Summary: The professional summary is one of the most important sections on the profile. It’s your opportunity to present exactly what you have to offer on your own terms. The summary statement should be clear, and concise about your qualifications and goals. Include relevant work, extracurricular, and skill information.

Show Off Your Education: Include major, minor, and study abroad or summer programs. No need to be modest. LinkedIn is the right place to show off honors and awards as well!

Include Other Experiential Education: Internship and work experience is great, but don’t forget related activities including clubs and organizations, community service, and research experience.

Don’t Go Overboard: Once you get started it’s tempting to include everything, but be selective. Keep in mind, “What’s your goal?” It’s important to modify your LinkedIn content based on objective, just like your resume.

Grow Your Network: Begin connecting once you have created your profile. You recognize a co-worker from your part-time job, connect. Your parent’s friend you’ve known since you were little, connect. Use the “Advanced People Search” feature to find potential contacts who attended Rutgers University.

Connect with Personalized Invitations: LinkedIn will provide you with a generic connection request e-mail. Customize as many connection requests as possible. Address something that resonates with you from when you met or on their profile, why you’re connecting, and thank them for the opportunity to do so.

Collect Diverse Recommendations: Ask internship or work supervisors, professors, and others who have worked with you for recommendations. Strive for at least one recommendation for each position you’ve had.

Engage with Your Network: Stay in touch. Send interesting articles, congratulate for work anniversaries, and update individuals on your internship or job search. Finally, remember it is always better to occasionally take on-line to off-line. To nurture a relationship, suggest catching up over a cup of coffee purchased (or at least attempted to) by you, of course.

**Some content adapted from university.linkedin.com/linked-in-for-students