Students often refer to LinkedIn as the "Professional Facebook". While there are a few similarities, for those of you thinking that LinkedIn is just another invasive social networking platform you're not interested in joining, we urge you to reconsider.
90% of employers use LinkedIn to recruit and screen job candidates. *
Sample Connection Request Note
Hi Jennifer. I attended your LinkedIn workshop today and found it really helpful. I hope we can stay connected!
Unspoken LinkedIn Etiquette
- The information you include in your profile is professional – period. You're not uploading personal photos, political musings, or your weekend whereabouts.
- It's not "creepy" to look at a person's profile who is unknown to you; that's actually the intended purpose! And to that point, you should not be alarmed if people are looking at yours.
- When it comes to adding someone to your network, consider this basic rule: unless you would say hello to the person on the street with the confidence they would know who you are, add a "Note" to your connection request. Simply remind the person of how they know you (e.g. they were your TA for XX course), or let them know why you are interested in connecting (e.g. you are a fellow Western alum or you attended their talk at X Conference).
Over 150,000 Western students and graduates have LinkedIn profiles. Using the alumni search tool , you can search for people based on their industry, company, degree type, city and the top skills used in their work.
Ideas to Enhance Your Profile
Put your best smile forward! Find a friend with portrait mode on their phone, pick a spot on campus with a visually appealing background, snap, crop, and upload!
Select your industry and location. Pick the one that represents your current or ideal future employment setting.
Include a brief, yet informative "Headline" (that line right under your name). See headline examples.
Craft a unique "About" section. Describe who you are and what you're after, summarize your skills and experiences, and add a fun fact or some interesting personal details.
Add relevant courses, projects, skills, and more! Check out the "Add profile section" to see what applies to you.
For more recommendations, see LinkedIn's Profile Checklist (pdf).
I Have a Profile, Now What?
LinkedIn is a great resource to network, research companies of interest, and display your personal brand. There are so many ways to use LinkedIn on a daily or weekly basis.
- Start locating informational interview contacts. Use our helpful networking tracking tool (xlsx) to keep yourself organized.
- Read and share industry news or post original content.
- Follow thought leaders, influencers, and companies.
- Join groups (both personal & professional interests) and participate in discussions.
- Search for student jobs and access fantastic student resources.
- Learn more on how to build a network.