LinkedIn is an online professional network where you can showcase your resume and professional history in a digital space, while also accessing job postings in all fields and careers. Once you create your LinkedIn profile, you can build and maintain relationships with classmates, professors, and co-workers, and develop your own online community of professional connections in your field of interest.
When creating your LinkedIn account, take note of the following elements that are essential to a well-crafted profile.
A professional photo
- use a photo that is clearly recognizable as you
- wear clothing that is considered professional in your field
- if you don’t have an appropriate photo, make an appointment with the Piper Center photographer
A distinctive headline
- craft a statement that shows who you are and what you aspire to do
- check out some examples for inspiration
A strong summary section
- write in the first person
- structure your summary around these questions:
- who are you? what draws you to your career path? what are you currently doing that relates to this field?
- what experiences have you had? what skills do you have that will prepare you for your field? use keywords specific to your field.
- what are your career goals for the future?
- take a look at this article for a few sample summaries
Other elements to add to your profile
- content from your resume: note that you can include video clips, website links, work products and presentations to enliven your experience and education sections. Also consider listing: languages (international, regional, global), relevant training and certifications, volunteer experience, skills, and accomplishments
- include your interests: follow companies, join groups, and affiliate with schools
- consider asking previous supervisors to write a recommendation paragraph for your profile
- read through this article for some examples
When making connections with others on LinkedIn, being mindful of a few key considerations can go a long way towards your success.
- first develop your profile, then connect with others
- only connect with people you know
- personalize each invitation
- start with classmates, family, co-workers, and connections from campus organizations
- later expand to professors, staff, alumni, and industry professionals
- join the St. Olaf College Alumni group
What should you do after you’ve created your profile?
Take a look at St. Olaf’s alumni page to connect with alumni in your field of interest.
Once your profile is ready and you’ve made some connections, check out this video series to learn more about what you can do on LinkedIn on a day-to-day basis.