What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a social networking site where you can connect with other professionals, joining the 810 million current members and 57 million companies. LinkedIn allows you to:

  • Connect with professionals (friends, recruiters, colleagues, or alumni)
  • Learn more about people, companies, and organizations
  • Add credibility to your experiences
  • Join groups of people with similar interests and goals

Building a Profile

Note: Before building your profile, be sure to turn off the “Notify Your Network” feature in settings, so folks aren’t notified of every change you make. You can find directions to do that here.

Your Brand is the way in which you would like others to perceive you based on your online profile. This is not just words on the page, but the atmosphere you’re trying to create. Think of the following questions:

What are you known for? What do you want to be known for?

Your answer to these questions makes up your professional self. Let this “professional self” be the guide as you work through what to highlight on your LinkedIn account.


Profile Picture
Your profile picture is your first impression, so make it a good one! Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. Does the picture look like me?
  2. Does the image look professional?
  3. Is there anything that could distract from the main focus of the picture? (hint: that’s you!)

You can change your public profile URL to be easier to read and type. Type or edit the last part of your new custom public profile URL in the text box.
Aim for your address to look like:
You can make adjustments as needed, depending on how common your name is. Click here to get directions on how to customize your URL.

LinkedIn Banner
The banner is a great way to establish the vibe you would like to have on your profile. Choose a photo that is nice, not distracting, that fits your brand. A few examples of ideas include:
nature photos, skyline of the city you live in, abstract art, a professional photo of your workplace, an image that symbolizes your industry

Building your LinkedIn headline should include key words from your industry, typically built from the position title you currently have, and a position you would like to have. Try to include information you think is relevant, like real data from your accomplishments, or your graduation date/degree. Here are a few templates you can use:

Aspiring [Job Title] | Experienced with [list 3 concrete skills]
Example: Aspiring Software Engineer | Experience with CTSS, Python, and JavaScript
[Major] at St. Kates | [Field of Interest] | [Field of Interest]
Example: Fashion Design Student at St. Kates | Gender-Inclusive Designs| Body Inclusion
[Job Title] (+at [Organization]) | [Who You Help & How You Help Them]
Example: Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA)| Helping athletes regain strength & stay positive


What is it?

A summary of your experiences. Not everyone has time to read your entire LinkedIn profile. This is a place to summarize the information that you would most like viewers to know.
An overview of your skills. When summarizing your experiences, make sure to highlight the skills that make you a qualified candidate, who stands out from other candidates.
A sales pitch. Whether you are actually selling a product or not, the goal of the About section is about selling: selling your brand!

What should you say?

While there is no one formula, a few things you can include are:

  1. Hook. One sentence that makes the reader want to click “read more” (220 desktop characters, 92 on mobile).
  2. Mission. Why do you do what you do?
  3. Expertise and Skills. What are you good at?
  4. Accomplishments. What results have you delivered in the past?
  5. Call to Action. What can the reader do after reading your summary?

Your “about” section can be a list of mini headlines, or it can be written in narrative form.



Your education is key to showing others what you are interested in, and your credentials. It is also helpful for being found by other users, as users can use filters to find folks who attended certain schools (including high schools!). Additionally, recruiters may use a level of education as a filter when looking for potential candidates.
In addition to the school, type of education, and topic (if applicable), you can also include things like:
Study Abroad, Extracurricular Activities, Honors, Awards, Examples of the Work You’ve Done (e.g. Art portfolios, presentations, etc.).

Experience Section

The experience section will be different for every person, since everyone has different experiences! Primarily, you should consider the following:

  1. What jobs you include. You are not required to list every job you’ve ever had. But, it can be helpful to provide a full overview of your experiences. Much like a resume, it’s up to your level of comfort to determine which jobs you feel comfortable highlighting.
  2. How you describe each job. Let’s face it: very few people looking at your LinkedIn page is going to click the “see more” button. So, it’s important to encapsulate the most important information into what can be seen in those first few lines. Try to summarize your greatest accomplishment at each position, and include multimedia examples (videos, presentations, photos, etc.) when applicable.

Licenses & Certifications

It’s important to include any relevant certifications or licenses, especially if that is a common criteria for jobs that you are interested in.


Skills Section

The skills section is a great place to include key information that will help others find you easier. The limit is 50–Use it to your advantage! Fill it up with skills that are relevant to your field, interests, and future pursuits. Keep your skills section to what skills will be needed for the field you’re in (or want to be in). To get an idea of what skills are prominent in the field of interest, look at the skills of the employees of large companies in the industry.


Endorsements are ways that your connections on LinkedIn can let others know that you have the skills you say you have! They add validity and weight to what you say you’re good at. One way to get them is through giving them! When you give people directed, relevant endorsements, they are more likely to return the favor to you.


Recommendations are messages written by LinkedIn members who recognize the work you’re doing. These can be from people like a colleague, coworker, student, or manager. You can request recommendations from first-degree connections on LinkedIn. Follow this link to find out how.

Honors & Awards

Choose ones that are relevant, recent, and representative of who you are!


What courses have you taken that make you stand out compared to other students?

NEW: Job Seeker Profile Checklist

In this checklist, LinkedIn walks you through how to attract employers, grow your professional skills, and connect to new job opportunities through a great LinkedIn profile.

Using Your Profile

Networking is about creating relationships and connections with others so that you can share resources and opportunities.

Search by Job Titles. Track what job titles you are gravitating towards, and use those as the key words in your search.

Keep an Eye on the Date Posted. If a job has been posted for a long time, it may be out of date, or there may be something impacting the hiring process.

Interested in Working for a Specific Company? Look on the company’s page under the “Jobs” tab to see what they currently have available.

Determine your long-term goals. Are you hoping to be seen as a thought leader in your field? Create a regular series? Or, do you simply want to use your account to give updates to your connections?

Determine your motivation for posting. What is your reason for wanting to post: to further your brand, to announce a big change, or to start a conversation? Does this align with your long-term goals?

Be creative with your content. Make sure that your content is easy to read, but also catches the attention of the reader.

Extra Tips

★Give a brief “hook” to draw readers to click “see more.”

★Add media to your post (e.g. an article, a picture, etc.)

LinkedIn Groups are a place to gain information and connections from people who are in the same industry.

Choose groups in industries that are interesting to you, and groups that are close to you in proximity (e.g. the same city or state). If you plan to relocate, choose groups from that city/state.

The most important thing to do is to engage with it: engage in discussions, post questions, and share content. From there, look at jobs available and reach out to fellow members.

Types of Connections

1st-Degree Connections: People you are directly connected with.

2nd-Degree Connections: Someone who is connected to one of your 1st-degree connections.

3rd-Degree Connections: Someone who is connected to one of your 2nd-degree connections.

Out of Network (3rd+): Past third-degree connections.

Reaching Out

It is not required to send a message when requesting to connect with someone… But sending a message can begin a conversation, which can lead to more connections and opportunities in the future. Who knows, the person you add may be on a future hiring committee!

For templates on reaching out, you can look at this helpful article, or these helpful ideas for reaching out based on how you know the person.

LinkedIn Learning

Choose from thousands of online courses to learn in-demand skills from real-world industry experts. This service has a monthly fee, but you can sometimes access it for free through your local library.

Featured Articles

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LinkedIn is a social networking site where you can connect with other professionals, joining the 810 million current members and 57 million companies. LinkedIn allows you to:

Click below to learn more and get started with building a better profile!

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