7 tips to supercharge your academic LinkedIn profile
profile probably isn’t doing either of those things right now. Or at
least, not very well.
not scientists; it’s tough to translate the traditional scholarly CV
into the business-friendly format imposed by LinkedIn. So most
scientists’ profiles are dull and lack focus on their most important
accomplishments, and their networking attempts are limited to
turn LinkedIn into a powerful tool for scholarly visibility and
networking. Today, we’ll help you supercharge your profile; then in our
next post, we’ll show you how to leverage that profile to built a
powerful professional network.
1: Bust down barriers to finding your profile
Privacy & Settings > Edit your public profile) to make sure
people can see what you want them to.
summary, and education, for starters; also include your best awards,
patents, and publications. But don’t worry if you haven’t got the right
content in place yet; we’ll fix that soon.
2: Make your Headline into an ‘elevator pitch’
name in search results. They call this your “Headline,” and just like a
newspaper headline, it’s meant to stimulate enough interest to make the
reader want more.
Describe yourself with the right words:
Brainstorm a few keywords that are relevant to the field you’re
targeting. Spend a few minutes searching for others in your field, and
borrowing from keywords found in their profiles and Headlines. For
instance, check out Arianna C’s
Headline: “Conceptual Modelling, Facilitation, Research Management,
Research Networking and Matching”. Right away, the viewer knows what
Arianna is an expert at. Your headline should do the same.
Be succinct: Never use two words when one will do. (Hard for academics, I know. ) Barbara K., who works in biotech, has a great Headline that follows this rule: “Microbiologist with R & D experience.”
Show your expert status: What makes you the
chemical engineer/genomics researcher/neuroscientist? Do you put in the
most hours, score the biggest grants, or get the best instructor
evaluations from students? This is your value proposition–what makes you
great. Those with less experience like recent graduates can supplement
this section by showing their passion for a topic. (I.e., “Computer
scientist with a passion for undergraduate education.”)
Use a tried and true formula to writing your headline: 3 keywords + 1 value proposition = Headline success, according to career coach Diana YK Chan.
So what does that look like? Taking the keywords from (1) and value
proposition from (3) above, we can create a Headline that reads,
“Computer scientist with a passion for undergraduate education and
experience in conceptual modelling and research management.” Cool, huh?
findable online–important for those of us who need to disambiguation
from similarly-named researchers beyond ORCID.
3: Make yourself approachable with a photo
Don’t tilt your head.
Lots of folks, especially women, do this in photos to look more
friendly, but it ends up making you look unassertive instead. Be
Turn your shoulders; the straight-on post yells “mugshot.”
Try posting an action shot, emphasizing for the viewer what you’re good at–for instance:public speaking,
4: Hook ‘em with your Summary section
view into your career and studies to date. Don’t just use this section
to repeat information found elsewhere on your profile. Instead, write a
short narrative of your professional life and career aspirations, using
some of the keywords left over from writing your Headline. Here are
three tips to help:
about your research and why it matters. Make yourself a person, not
just another name in a discipline. Anthropologist Jason Baird Jackson does a great job of this:
Native American communities in Oklahoma since 1993, when I began a
lifelong personal and research relationship with the Euchee/Yuchi
Be up-front about what you want
professional goals. If you’ve done your job right, future employers,
reviewers, students, and collaborators are probably reading your
profile. Great. Now, what do you want to do with them? Let them know
what you’re after, like scientist CW Hooker does in his Summary:
Prove your value
experiences as a young investigator seeking expert collaborations, Dr.
Iorns co-founded Science Exchange. In 2012, after recognizing the need
to create a positive incentive system that rewards independent
validation of results, Dr. Iorns created the Reproducibility
5: Give the scoop on your best work
trivialize the more important work that you’ve done and make you look
your CV–it’s more of a trailer than a feature film. So include only the
jobs that are relevant to your career goals. Mention a few specifics
about your most important responsibilities and what you learned at those
jobs, and save the gory details about your day-to-day work for your
about your last 10-15 years of experience. Listing all of your past
institutions will make for a monster profile that will turn readers off
with too much detail.
assistant for Dr. Obscure at Wichita State University in 1985, when the
more compelling story is that you’ve had your own lab since 2006?
6: Brag about your best awards and publications
awards and publications on your LinkedIn profile. Highlight your best
publications (especially those where you’re a lead author) and most
prestigious awards (i.e., skip the $500 undergraduate scholarship from
your local Elks club).
publications and awards don’t mean nearly as much outside of academia.
In fact, you might want to leave those sections off of your LinkedIn
profile altogether, replacing them with patents you’ve filed or projects
7. Add some eye-catching content
easier to import information from our CVs. Too bad it’s not.
Nonetheless, with a little ingenuity you can make the site great for
showcasing what scientists have a lot of: posters, slide decks, and
figures for manuscripts.
figure with a manuscript for publication, you can upload it here,
giving viewers a better taste of your work. Add links, photos,
slideshows, and videos directly to your profile using the Upload icon on
your profile’s Summary and Experience sections. Consider also adding a
link to your Impactstory profile, so you can show readers your larger body of work and its popular and scholarly impact.
showcases his best conference talks using links to Slideshare slide
decks. And Github repositories make an appearance alongside slide decks
on PhD student Cristhian Parra’s profile (pictured above).
stimulating–work for a slick-looking profile that sets you apart from
limitations for scientists, that drab old profile is spiffed up and
ready to share. Now you’re poised to make lasting connections with your
colleagues via LinkedIn, and hook potential collaborators.
value until you use it to network. We’ll show you how to do that in the
second part of our series. Stay tuned!
7 tips to supercharge your academic LinkedIn profile - Impactstory blog