LinkedIn is a powerful, professional online network. The communication on this platform can be very different than other social networks. This presentation provides some basics to get you started. Have fun and enjoy.
Unraveling LinkedIn: Best Practices for College Students & Recent Graduates
Best Practices for
College Students &
By Danielle Conte
This presentation was designed for a group of
students in my
BUSINESS 250: Consumer Behavior class at
Farmingdale State College
who selected a complimentary
30-minute LinkedIn® Best Practices Session
over a free Oreo® cookie, a $1 bill or nothing at all,
during a class exercise.
Good news! Students & Recent Grads are the Fastest Growing Segment on
LinkedIn®. More and more members of your peer group are using the platform.
More Good News. The Core Users are professionals ages 30-49. There is a
good chance your future boss and co-workers use the site.
It’s true. Your LinkedIn® profile is
home to your online resume that
features your skills, experience
and education, but it is much
more than that.
LinkedIn® is the largest
professional network in the world
with 347+ million members
This network consists of
individuals and groups. People
and relationships require
ongoing effort if you want to
build and maintain an authentic
Before making updates to your profile be sure to turn
off the “Sharing profile edits” box in the Privacy &
Settings section and make sure the change is saved.
Do not flood your connections’ newsfeed with every
minor change or update you make to your profile.
Profile Picture DO’s and DON’Ts
Do hire a professional photographer to take
your picture OR ask a friend to take your
picture. No selfies.
Do use a recent photo.
Do look professional and personable. Smile.
Do be aware of the background, lighting and
your choice of attire.
Do check to see how your profile appears
when it is cropped or resized.
Do look at how your photo appears in the
newsfeed as well as on your profile page.
Don’t use a picture with anyone else in
it. No dogs, babies, friends, family
members, or celebrities.
Don’t constantly update your profile
picture. This isn’t Instagram or Facebook.
Don’t use a photo you would not want
the CEO of a major corporation to see.
Don’t use a photo that is so artistic that
you are unrecognizable.
Don’t forget you can increase your views
by 11x when you have a profile picture.*
Your Profile Headline
Your 120-character headline and photo are the first impressions and most
important parts of your profile. Here are 4 tips for creating an impactful headline
with some examples from Pete Leibman, Executive Recruiter.
Remember to feature keywords
in your headline that will show up in
search results. Avoid self-important
buzzwords (e.g. maven, expert, guru.)
Your Profile URL
Remember to change the URL LinkedIn provides you to a vanity URL
using your name. It is just good branding to see your name instead of a
random series of numbers and letters. This allows your profile to be
found easier when people are searching for you. It also better allows
you to add your URL to your email signature, resume or business cards.
Visit Customizing Your Public Profile URL for instructions.
Your Contact Information
Remember to add your contact information to your profile. If you list
an email address, use a personal email address that you check
consistently. If you are currently employed with a company, don’t list
your employer’s email address as you will get contacted by recruiters
and external companies using the information provided. I don’t
recommend using a cutesy email address that makes you appear
If you feature your Twitter user name or blog/website in your contact
information, just remember it will be reviewed by employment and
business prospects, recruiters, and human resources professionals.
Your Experience & Education
Your reputation, both good and bad, can spread like
Be sure you remain completely truthful and accurate
with every bit of information you post online AND share
In the Experience and Education areas of your profile,
never claim to have work experience, a job title, a
degree, a certification or an award that you did not earn
If you are a few months shy of receiving your Bachelor’s
degree, clearly list the anticipated graduation date.
Populate the rest of your profile areas with information that is truthful
and useful. Note the “Posts” function allows you to publish articles
you write. This greatly increases your visibility with your network.
Your Current and Future Connections
How you build and maintain your professional network will determine your
reputation and strength of your network.
No one wants to be linked to a spammer! Make every message you send
authentic, valuable, and custom to the recipient. DO NOT spam your contacts or
The request to connect etiquette on this network can be very different from
Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter, where people follow and connect
with strangers instantaneously. There are people who will not accept LinkedIn
invitations if they do not personally know you. If you want to connect with
someone you do not know, it is strongly recommended you send a personalized
introduction message to explain why you would like to connect with that person.
If you already know the person and want to send them an invitation to connect, a
personalized message is a nice gesture but not required.
The Mobile Apps
47% of users visit Linkedin via mobile.
Be sure to download the free LinkedIn App and update the App regularly.
There is also a LinkedIn Job Search App with location based search. You can get alerts
when there are new jobs posted in your area. The App will tell you if someone in your
network is affiliated with that job opening.
Develop a credible profile that speaks to the value you bring to your current or future profession.
Build a meaningful and authentic professional network. Invest in the relationships you make
Remember the etiquette and communication flow is more formal than other social networks.
Show people you respect their time by sending personalized messages. No one likes to receive