LinkedIn checklist & guide
To help you become an advanced user of LinkedIn, we made guides which you can use during the process. If you want more information on how to use LinkedIn, follow our training LinkedIn Basic and/or LinkedIn Advanced. These are given regularly during the academic year. Check the Career event and training calendar for dates.
How to create a LinkedIn profile
1. Join LinkedIn
2. Location, recent job title, company and industry and confirmation email
3. Community / contacts
4. Set your settings right
: before changing an already existing LI profile: Make sure to adjust your Privacy Settings, so people (your network) do not get notified once you make adjustments. For this, go to privacy settings > visibility > visibility of your LinkedIn activity > Share job changes, education changes and work anniversaries from profile > No. Do not forget to turn this back to yes once you are done with adjusting your profile.
What information to add to your LinkedIn page
1. Intro (Photo, background, headline, postal code)
To edit your introduction, click on the pencil/edit button at the right corner of the first white section. Here, you can fill in all the requested information. Here is an elaboration on some of the most important items:
It is recommended to add a photo to your LinkedIn profile. It will give a clear image about who you are and helps people you already know to identify that this is your LinkedIn profile (so they can connect with you). You can do this by clicking on the oto icon itself For tips on how to make a good photo for LinkedIn, find the tips below this guide.
By adding a background you can personalize your LinkedIn profile. You can add a background by clicking on the camera/pencil icon in the right corner. Choose for an background that relates to your field on interest. For example: it can be a photo of you while working, or a picture with items related to your interest (e.g. food if you study food sciences).
Your headline is visible for everyone and should describe your professional identity. You may want to take a format like this: Function / Current activity (can be student) | Activities | Interests | If applicable: looking for..
An example of a filled in headline can be the following: MSc student Environmental Sciences at Wageningen University & Research | Writing a thesis on environmental policy | GIS | Looking for an internship in sustainable agriculture
It is important to add keywords to your headline that are of interest to you. Recruiters use keywords to search for employees, so by using specific keywords they can find you (faster). So look for often used keywords in your study/work field. You can do this by looking for interesting vacancies and organizations, see what keywords they use in their descriptions and use these when they match you.
Add the postal code to your LinkedIn for the area in which you search for jobs/internships. For example, if you live in Wageningen but would like to work in Amsterdam, use a postal code within Amsterdam.
2. Contact info and customizing your LinkedIn URL
When you go back to your page, below your headline you can see the words Contact Info. Click on Contact Info and make sure to put your email address and if you wish your telephone number in it. You can also put your birthday in it, than your network will get notified when you are having your birthday.
If you make a LinkedIn profile, the URL is automatically with a lot of numbers behind your name. To make sure you are found on LinkedIn or Google by just typing your name it is better to skip those numbers. It also looks better if you put the URL of your LinkedIn in your CV. To skip the numbers go to the right side on top and see Edit public profile & URL. Delete the numbers after your name and save the link. So an example of a good short URL is: linkedin.com/in/janedoe. More information on this can be found in the following link: Customize Your Public Profile URL | LinkedIn Help
4. (Work) Experience
In your experience section you can elaborate on your work experiences. Make sure you have a clear function description, in which you describe your tasks and responsibilities clearly (For example by using bullet points, max. 2 paragraphs). You can also make use of photo’s to illustrate your experience.
Note: do not make use of the automatic fill in for your headline when adding a current experience, but personalize your own headline.
Make sure you have a clear description of your educational activities, for example your specialization, thesis title, relevant courses, the name of your ACT project (and role during the project). Make sure it is max. 2 paragraph again. You can also make use of photo’s to illustrate your experience.
Note: Again, do not make use of the automatic fill in for your headline when adding a current experience, but personalize your own headline.
6. Licenses & Certifications
7. Volunteer experience
8. Skills, Endorsements and Accomplishments
By adding skills to your profile, others can see in what kind of activities you are good at. Select a top 3 skills set that you have. For this, make sure you match personal skills with vacancies you like. Use keywords that are also mentioned in the vacancies.
By getting endorsed on your skill(s), others show that you are indeed an expert in that skill. Also endorse others in their skills, by navigating to their profile and look for their skills list (and press on the + icon when you would like to endorse for that skill).
Add different aspects to your LinkedIn profile: publications, patents, courses, projects, honors and awards, test scores, languages, and organizations. Fill in the requested information.
Networking on LinkedIn
1. Post updates
2. Search for #hashtags and like posts
3. Connect with people
When you do not know someone
If you do not know someone, but would like to add them to your network (for example, because they have an interesting job or you would like to follow their career path), send them a personalized message in which you motivate shortly why you would like to add them to your network. You can do this by clicking on ‘Add a note’ after you clicked on ‘connect’.
You can also accept the invites from people you do not know. For example, it might be useful to connect with recruiters. Keep in mind that you are not obligated to accept an invite. If it does not feel right to accept an invite (for example if you have nothing in common and the person did not send you an personalized message) you can also reject an invitation. Be aware of commercial invitations / people that invite you for selling business / commercial reasons, you may also want to reject these invites.
4. Folllow Companies
5. Join Groups
Groups include people with similar interests. By joining groups you can gain knowledge by learning from the information that is shared in the group.
Also, you can increase your network with relevant professionals (because LinkedIn considers members of a common group as your 2nd degree connections). An advantage of this is that you are able to connect with these people. By default on LinkedIn, you cannot send messages to people you don’t know. But if you share a group, this option becomes available. You can join groups by: searching for your field of interest in the search bar at the homepage and filter on ‘groups’.
Searching for internships/jobs via LinkedIn
1. Using the ‘Jobs’ icon in the taskbar
Or you can see all positions in the area by only searching on location. You can filter the vacancies by using different filters, such as the experience level. Also, you can filter on certain companies. Job alert
If you have found interesting vacancies via a certain search, you may want to be kept informed about new vacancies that appear from this search. You can do this by setting a job alert. You can find this in the right corner of the vacancy overview (below your search area and the filters).
2. Search positions via organizations
3. Find positions via people
It may be interesting to come into contact with people who you have similar interest with or who work at a company you would like to work at. You can search for such people in 3 ways:
Search for an intersting company by using the search field via the Jobs icon in the taskbar (step 1). Here, look for possible connections you have that work at this company. If you have any connections who work(ed) here, it will be shown below the vancancies.
Repeat the same steps as above (find positions via connections), but instead of searching for similar connections you can use the filters mentioned in step 1. Filter on ‘people’ (within the first filter option) and a list with all the people who work at this company will appear. If someone has an interesting function, you may want to connect with this person or look/ask about the career path which resulted in this function.
Filter on People – all filters – fill in Education Wageningen University & Research – in the search bar typ the name of your study and see all the people who are studying or graduated from that study. You can see where they work now, what kind of job and that might give some inspiration as well.
4. Using the filter #Opentowork
Tips for taking a good picture
Make sure your face is clearly visible. To focus on your face, it is advised to take the picture in which the area from your shoulders/chest to the top of your head can be seen. Consequently, it is best to take a picture from the front.
Wear formal clothes, for example clothes that you would wear for a job interview.
Hair and makeup
Try to keep your hair and makeup neutral, as it may draw the attention too much from your face.
Try to keep your facial expressions professional. With this, the following is meant: in western countries it is advised to look friendly and confident on your LinkedIn picture (you can smile), while other countries around the world prefer a photo in which neutral facial expressions are the standard. Either way, when making the photo, try to pretend you are walking into a great job interview and imagine how your face would look like (and stick to that facial expression).
It is wise to make sure your background is neutral. For example, you may want to take a picture in front of a wall or have a blurred background. As students from Wageningen University & Research often apply for positions that have links to sustainability, you might want to consider taking a picture in front of a tree/bush, so that the background color is mainly green (which is often linked to as a color for sustainability).
Being alone in the picture
Try to include a picture in which you are alone. This way, there can be no confusion about who the LinkedIn profile belongs to.
You may want to stick to natural daylight, as it can give you ‘a fresh look’. Furthermore, this makes sure you are clearly visible on the picture. For this, you may want to take a picture in front of a window or outside.
Taking the picture
Ask someone else to take the picture for you. Selfies are not very professional and by letting someone else take a picture for you, you are able to focus on your facial expressions.
Are you in doubt if your picture is suitable for your LinkedIn profile? You can have your picture checked at the following website: https://www.snappr.co/photo-analyzer/
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