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Making the Most of LinkedIn Webster University | Career Planning & Development Center

LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for networking. This guide outlines some key features and tips for utilizing LinkedIn to maximize your professional image and engage with industry contacts.

Content Overview

  • Develop Your Profile
  • Research and Connect
  • Sample Connection Requests

Develop Your Profile

Build a strong and unified message about your professional identity through your LinkedIn profile.

Customized Profile

Add, remove, and relocate sections to best showcase your skills and experiences as they relate to your industry.

Profile Photo

Select a photo for your LinkedIn profile that is a clear, single head shot in which you're professionally dressed and presenting a natural, friendly smile. Avoid blurry photos, photos in which others are cropped out, or any image that does not support you being perceived as mature and professional.

Sample profile photos

Headline

Write a headline statement that contains a benefit to the reader. Use keywords others might search when needing your services, but omit overused lingo such as "superior," "proactive," "top-performing," "dedicated," "hard-working," etc.

Sample profile headline

Examples of Descriptive Headlines:

  • Creative Communicator: Writing & Editing | Graphics & Video | Social Media & Blogs
  • Partnerships Manager & Creative Strategist
  • Certified Professional Facilitator | Helping teams to get from chaos to clarity
  • Helping Businesses Enhance their Online Marketing Image Through Social Media
  • Increasing your sales by combining integrated media solutions with high precision targeting
  • Bilingual Compliance Manager | Hedge Funds | ABC Company Inc.
  • Transforming Healthcare Tech at HealthWise
  • Consumer Marketing Expert with a Focus on Strategy, Promotions, and Campaign Management

Summary

Write a brief summary (3-5 short paragraphs) in first person language that provides the reader with an overall picture of who you are and what they should expect to see in the rest of your profile. Write about what makes you unique: your strengths, values, experiences, and the things that motivate you. Incorporate industry keywords into your statements so that your profile is more likely to show up in search results.

Sample profile summary

Honed List of Skills

Include a skills section to outline your specialized qualifications. It's not necessary to list every skill you posses. Be strategic about including the skills that best highlight your unique skills profile as related to your industry.

Sample skills section

Add Examples

Enhance your profile by uploading media into the introduction section, the experience section, and/or the education section. When appropriate and relevant, incorporating media such as documents, slides, and videos can provide evidence of your skills and make your profile more interesting and dynamic.

Media in experience section

Research and Connect

Use LinkedIn to identify contacts in your industries or companies of interest. You can message those contacts through LinkedIn, invite them to be your LinkedIn Connection, or reach out via external methods of communication (email address, phone, etc.)

Key Features

Advanced Search

Use LinkedIn's filters to search for people with particular job titles, with work histories at organizations that interest you, or with ties to Webster.

Alumni Insights

Go to school profile pages to view alumni affiliated with Webster University or previous institutions of learning. You can search the list of alumni by keyword or sort by location, workplace, job, or major.

Company Profiles

Browse company profiles for organizations that interest you. From a company profile, you can find any current jobs posted on LinkedIn and a list of employees. You'll even be informed in the company profile if you have connections to anyone working there.

Groups

View or join groups related to your areas of interest. There are LinkedIn groups for professional associations, industries, topics, schools, and hobbies. Once a member of a group, you'll be able to search and message other members who share your interests.

Sample Connection Request

When requesting to connect with an individual on LinkedIn, it’s advisable to personalize your message rather than sending LinkedIn’s standard text. You can do so by navigating to the individual’s profile, selecting Connect, then Add a note, then creating your customized message.

Example of a customized connection request:

Dear Mr. Jones,

I identified your LinkedIn profile through a common group, the Webster University Alumni Association. I'll be graduating in May of this year with a degree in Advertising & Marketing Communications. I see you're an Advertising Account Manager at ABC Company - if you have some time, I'd be interested in speaking with you to learn more about your career path and to gather your advice and insight.

Thank you,

Lock Wood

For additional resources, please explore our guides and sample documents through the Career Planning & Development Center's website.

Credits:

Created with images by Ben Kolde - "untitled image" • Kaitlyn Baker - "untitled image" • rawpixel - "untitled image" • LinkedIn Sales Navigator - "untitled image"

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