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Rocking Your LinkedIn Profile - Part 1: Maximizing Your Profile

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On October 6 and October 12, respectively, Rutgers MBS students learned how to “Rock [Their] LinkedIn Profile” via a two-part presentation conducted by Jen Jortner Cassidy, Senior Customer Success Manager for LinkedIn Learning.

Held on October 6, 2020, Part 1: Maximizing Your Profile focused on helping students make their LinkedIn profiles stronger and more captivating. Using the LinkedIn profiles of two MBS students as examples, the session employed a “top-down” approach—reviewing and modifying the profiles from top to bottom.

After a question and answer session, the presentation concluded with a clear call to action for audience members to take one step to strengthen their own LinkedIn profiles. Below are top tips from Rock Your LinkedIn Profile, Part 1:

Why Should You Create a Profile on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is probably the most powerful job networking tool on the planet. With a total of 610 million members, 30 million companies, and 20 million job postings worldwide, LinkedIn is able to connect millions of professionals each day and honor the company mission of creating economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.

How Do You Tell a Story on LinkedIn?

The presentation featured step-by -step instructions for how to improve professional visibility. While many MBS students are already working in their desired industries, other students transition to MBS right from their undergraduate studies and have less time to accumulate applicable workforce experience. The below pointers are tips that both students and working professionals alike can use to maximize their LinkedIn platforms and extend their overall reach:

Step 1: Add a Profile Photo

Cassidy kicked off this section with an interesting fact: “Profiles with photos get 21 times more views than profiles without photos.” Note:

  • A strong profile picture should not include other people.
  • The picture should be from shoulders up and should have a neutral background.

This is a screenshot of a strong LinkedIn profile, which employs top tips that Jen Jortner Cassidy gave during her presentation

Step 2: Add Your Education

To further strengthen your profile, you should include the name of the school or university you attended (or are attending), and list your major(s) and degrees as well as any awards or honors received. You can also list student leadership positions and club participation(s).

Step 3: Detail Your Experience

“Profiles with experience are ten times more likely to get messaged,” says Cassidy, who recommends that students include information about internships, summer jobs, part-time work, and, if possible, include actual work samples. Ideally, profiles should include a description of accomplishments.

Step 4: Add Volunteer Experience

Hiring managers value work and volunteer experiences, says Cassidy, who stated that all profiles can benefit from including information about volunteer experiences, all honors and awards received, and all relevant group memberships.

This is an example of how to best present on LinkedIn information about your accomplishments, honors and achievements, awards, publications, and more.

Step 5: Add Skills

“Students who add five or more skills receive up to 17 times more views,” Cassidy says. Especially for undergraduate students and/or students with little professional experience, adding both hard skills and soft skills acquired from internships and/or volunteer experiences is important, and recommendations from colleagues, professors, and advisors are invaluable.

Step 6: Draft a Summary

Cassidy said one great way to showcase and summarize your personality is to craft the summary as an elevator pitch—focusing on your accomplishments and describing what motivates you. She recommends keeping this information to 100 words or less

This is a screenshiot that shows how to best present an introduction about yourself, which Cassidy recommends keeping to 100 words or less.

Below is a quick summary of how to best maximize your profile--which will put you one step closer to achieving your dream career:

This is an infographic titled "Bring Your Personality to Life," which includes a step-by-step bullet points to five essential "to dos" when creating a LinkedIn profile, including how to best present a photo, information about your industry and education, a summary of your exprience (including volunteer experience) and how to list your skills and endorsements.

Cassidy also walked us through her own profile, detailing how she incorporated the above steps.

After seeing the practical application of all steps through Cassidy’s profile, the audience got the opportunity to give feedback on the MBS students’ LinkedIn profiles.

These are side-by-side screenshots of two MBS students' actual LinkedIn profiles, which were used as examples during the presentation. Kruttika Raman's profile is on the left. Since it employs most of the recommended steps, it recieved little feedback. Xylia Ajose's profile, at right, needed improvements that included using a photo in her profile.

The profile on the left—MBS student Kruttika Raman—hit nearly all the points Cassidy highlighted in her presentation, and Raman received very little feedback. On the other hand, Xylia Ajose’s profile (at right) received more feedback in relation to the steps discussed in the presentation. Suggested improvements included adding a profile picture and writing a stronger summary.

Cassidy concluded the presentation by asking the audience, “What is one action you will take as a result of attending today’s session?” She then challenged all attendees to take that action to improve their LinkedIn profile.

Author(s): 
Jayalaxmi Arasalike
Published On: 
10/30/2020