While LinkedIn is not necessarily required for graduate school admissions, you will certainly be expected to have one once you are in school and in the job hunt. Your LinkedIn profile is an excellent way to provide more information about yourself then what can fit onto a resume.
This is a great place to give a quick “pitch” on who you are and what you’re doing. An example of a headline would be, “Navy veteran currently pursuing a Master’s of Business Administration at school X.” If you are still working, then this would be a good place to give just a little bit more information about what you do.
This is pretty self-explanatory. If you are waiting to matriculate, it would be appropriate for it say something like “matriculating student to school X in fall of 2020” or if you are in school then it should reflect your student status such as “full-time MBA candidate at school X.”
This is not required to be shown in the intro, but if you would like to be associated with your undergrad or another school you’ve attended then you can choose to show that here.
This should be based on the location you primarily live in or the city that the school you’re attending is located in.
Before you land an internship this could be a bit tough to decide. If you know you want to focus on working in a specific industry when you are done with school, it’s okay to put that industry here, especially if you’re studying things related to that. This will show recruiters that you are focused on the industry you are trying to break into.
You will have the opportunity to add multiple titles/positions within the same company. As long as you assign the proper dates worked to them, they will be in order of the most recent positions.
This is not something that has to be filled in. Most anyone looking at your profile will be able to tell if you had a full-time, part-time, or contract-based position. You can put it in if you think it helps clarify things.
If your time with a company isn’t too short, then it’s a good idea to use both month and year. This is especially the case if you were with the same company for many years but held different titles and positions so it can be known how long you were in each. If you have jumped around a bit more, or took some time off before matriculating and are worried about what it looks like using months, only going by years is not taboo.
This section is open to interpretation as far as the best way to describe what you did. Some people prefer to write it resume style, describing what they did and accomplished. Others may choose for it to be skills based where they list a skill and then describe things they did in this role that contributed to that. You don’t want to write a novel, but you do want to include anything that you think is important but you couldn’t fit on your resume.
Most fields in this category are self-explanatory. However, if your current institution does not allow you to put your GPA on your resume then you shouldn’t put it on your LinkedIn either. Description could be used for numerous purposed here. One good way to utilize it is to list positions like being an RA or a TA, as well as if you won any awards, grants, or contests based on your academic performance.
This section can be tricky based on what you are planning to do once you’re done with school. If you are focused on a niche industry you have experience and certifications in, then you should certainly list those. If you are being more broad in your employment search, it could potentially make employers wonder if they see you have highly specialized knowledge in an area that has nothing to do with their business. Here you need to use your discretion based on your goals.
Arguably the hardest part about this section is having something to put in. If you haven’t been volunteering yet, you should try and find opportunities to do so as many schools and companies value those who give back to their communities. If possible, try to find volunteer opportunities that align with what you want to do in the future. For example, if you’re going to business school, the Volunteer Income Tax Preparer program, as well as Junior Achievement and other economic empowerment volunteer opportunities would look very good to any b-school admissions officer.
Here you can list areas that you have prior experience in and connections on LinkedIn can endorse you for these, vouching for your proficiency in that area. Again, this is an area you may want to be careful in if you are doing a drastic career pivot. Highly technical skills from a totally different industry may not be viewed in the best light by the companies you’re recruiting with. One thing you can do is update this as you progress through school and you gain experience in the things you plan to do with a future employer.
Like Skills & Endorsements, people can vouch for you and you can vouch for them by writing recommendations. It’s a lot less likely someone will write you a recommendation on a whim like they may endorse you for a skill. If you have a highly respected or accomplished supervisor from the past and you think their word could boost your profile, then you may want to ask them to fill one out for you. Having a recommendation isn’t a necessity for a complete profile.
There is a long list of things you can add to this section. Any reasonably respected honor and award from your professional experience would be a good add in this section as well as any language proficiency. If you have a test score (like the GMAT or GRE) that is in the top percentiles then this is another good place to list that.
In this section, companies and groups that you have “followed” on their page will show up. This can be a great way to signal the industries that you’re interested in by following companies within that area of expertise.
On the upper right-hand side of your profile go to “Edit Public Profile & URL.” On the next page, you will see the edit button for changing your LinkedIn URL. If you have never done this, it will just be a series of numbers. If it’s not already taken, try to do “firstname-lastname” in place of the numbers. Try whatever combination of initials or relevant numbers. The purpose is to allow your URL to be more readily identifiable to you, and also show that you have done more than just bare minimum of setting up an account.
By default, LinkedIn will show the profiles of others who are similar to you and were viewed by the same people on the right-hand side of your page. While you like to see everyone succeed, this is your LinkedIn page and you should be using to promote yourself, not others. To turn this off, go to “Settings & Privacy,” then “Site Preferences,” and here you will see “Viewers of This Profile Also Viewed.” Set this to No so that people can stay focused on you while on your page.