Thursday, 15 December 2016

How to Write an Effective LinkedIn Profile - Career Center - Boston College

How to Write an Effective LinkedIn Profile

boston college career center

From the Career Center

Using LinkedIn professionally will help you greatly in establishing
connections, developing relationships, and exploring companies and

Your LinkedIn profile is often thought of as an online version of your resume.
 The basic profile you create will likely closely resemble your resume.
 However, LinkedIn allows you to enhance the content of your resume and
use your profile as a dynamic networking tool.

Download our complete Guide to Using LinkedIn Professionally (pdf).

Students should use this guide to:

Create a profile

  • Name:  Include both your first and last name.  Remember, your
    name is your brand and is the first piece of information people will
    see when they view your profile or your name appears in a search.  If
    you have a common name, it is recommended that you include your middle
    name or initial.
  • Profile Picture:  Select a friendly, professional-looking
    picture.  LinkedIn differs from resumes in that it is important to
    include a profile picture, as employers gravitate towards profiles that
    show approachable potential hires.  The Career Center offers LinkedIn
    Photo Booths at each of the major Career Fairs where you can have a
    professional picture taken for free.
  • Headline:  Your headline is your unique tagline to capture
    readers’ attention and entice them to read your full profile.  LinkedIn
    will automatically generate a headline for you based on your most recent
    position in your Experience section.  Strong profiles will have an
    updated headline to include area of study, career ambitions, or keywords
    related to a desired career field.  If you are searching for an
    opportunity, it can be helpful to incorporate this into your headline.

    Sample Headlines:

    • Aspiring Consumer Marketer with a Passion for Strategy, Promotions, and Campaign Management.
    • Boston College Junior Seeking Accounting Internship in New York City
    • Social Media Branding Specialist | Seeking Marketing Internship

  • Location:  While at Boston College, you may choose to include
    your location as “Greater Boston Area.”  Once you begin searching, it
    is beneficial to update your location to your desired location for
    employment.  This will ensure that you appear in searches conducted by
    employers near that area.

  • Industry:  Select the industry you intend to enter.

  • Current & Previous Experience and Education:  LinkedIn
    will update these sections based on the information you provide in the
    Experience and Education sections of your profile.

  • Contact Information:  Update the contact information you wish
    to provide to viewers of your profile.  You can include email
    addresses, phone numbers, mailing addresses, Twitter accounts, and
    personal websites.  When linking a Twitter account or personal website,
    ensure that the content is professional.  The details you include in the
    Contact Information section will only be shared with your direct
LinkedIn Key Tip
  • Public URL:  Customize your public URL to include your name. 
    Having a customized, professional URL will enable you to easily include
    your LinkedIn profile in an email signature or resume.  To update your
    URL, enter the Edit Profile mode.  Click “Edit” next to the URL in your
    heading box.  In the text box on the right hand side, click the pencil
    under “Your Public Profile URL.”  Enter your desired URL and save.

Additional Sections

As with your resume, you are able to add various sections to your
LinkedIn profile.  LinkedIn has created sections for you to choose
from.  You do not need to include all of the sections the site offers,
rather add only those that are relevant to you and your career field.


The summary is your opportunity to expand further on your personal
brand.  Here you can describe your greatest accomplishments, ambitions,
and interests.  When writing your summary, it is important to remember
the audience.  You do not want to write large blocks of text; instead,
use shorter blocks and bulleted lists where appropriate.  As with all
professional documents, ensure that your summary is grammatically
correct and without typing errors.  Based on your industry of interest
and the experiences you’ve had, you may choose to include an image,
video, or other document in your summary section.

More Sample Summaries:

  • A second year Marketing undergraduate student at Boston College with
    an interest in marketing, advertising, and social media. Seeking a
    summer internship to apply my experience assisting a company’s branding
    needs through social media outreach, developing marketing plans, digital
    marketing, and conducting customer research.


    • Event planning

    • Social networking and marketing

    • Account management

    • Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel)

    • Adobe CS5.5 Suite (Photoshop, Flash)

  • Enthusiastic and focused student graduating in May with in-depth
    agency and industry experience and a focus in advertising and the arts,
    specifically dance and theatre. Served in college on the Executive
    Committee for a yearly student-run dance extravaganza and each year
    moved up in leadership roles to finance manager, choreographer,
    marketing coordinator and president of the organization.

    Interested in an entry-level position with an advertising agency in
    account management or media planning in New York City; currently
    preparing to move to the city post-graduation. Also qualified and
    experienced with arts administration and arts and theater education with
    elementary school children; extensive volunteer service in classrooms
    and after-school programs.

  • An Introduction

    Officially, I am a senior in Boston College's Carroll School of
    Management studying marketing and information systems. But more
    importantly, I am a creative thinker who produces, values, and supports
    ideas that push boundaries. Marketing is my passion, and my specific
    interests lie in brand management, digital marketing, social media
    marketing, and product marketing.

    Why Marketing?

    The concept of branding has interested me from a young age. Though I may
    not remember which cartoons I watched on Saturday mornings as a child, I
    can still recall numerous commercials for various everyday products.
    Despite the fact that these products were seemingly ordinary, compelling
    brand stories expressed through unique advertising made them
    extraordinary. The lasting impact a brand can leave on a consumer and
    the loyalty that results from this impact fascinates me. Successful
    brands connect with their consumers, I believe that marketing is the key
    to a positive relationship between a brand and its audience.

    A Forward Thinker

    Norman Mailer once said, "One must grow or else pay more for remaining
    the same." This idea not only applies to individuals but also to brands.
    Today's consumer responds to innovation and creativity, and I hope to
    build a career around devising and implementing avant-garde marketing

Experience, Volunteer Experience & Causes, and Organizations

These sections resemble the similarly-titled sections on your resume.
They will likely contain the majority of the information you share on
your profile informing others of what you have done in the past. When
updating these sections, include internships, work experience,
extracurricular activities, and volunteer experiences. Describe each
experience in enough detail to inform the reader about your
responsibilities and accomplishments in each position. Be sure to
include action verbs, industry-specific keywords, actions taken, and
results achieved.


Include your Boston College education and any other higher
education experiences you may have.  This could include study abroad
experiences, previous degrees, exchange programs, or time spent at
another institution.  Here you can also include Activities and Societies
you participate in.  In the description section, include any relevant
information not stated elsewhere, such as thesis titles, minors, or
scholarships.  LinkedIn has a special section for listing courses, so
you do not need to write related coursework in the description.


Include any relevant courses you have taken and associate them with the proper Education entry utilizing the drop-down menu.


List your skills or areas of expertise.  Include keywords and phrases
from your industry.  While you can add up to 50 skills to your profile,
initially, try to add at least 10 skills.  Unlike on your resume, it is
acceptable to list interpersonal skills in addition to technical or
industry-specific skills.

Your direct connections on LinkedIn are able to endorse you for
skills on your profile.  Skills that receive more endorsements will
automatically be listed first in your skills list.  However, if you
would like to highlight certain skills, you can change the order by
clicking “edit” in this section.  In order to obtain endorsements,
consider endorsing your connections’ skills, as they may choose to
return the favor.


Include any projects you would like to highlight from your
educational experience, work experience, internship, or elsewhere. 
Describe your responsibilities and accomplishments.  You can also add
the team members you worked with for each particular project.

Additional Optional Sections

  • Honors & Awards

  • Languages

  • Interests

  • Personal Details

  • Publications

  • Test Scores

  • Patents

  • Certifications


For more information about LinkedIn or to have your profile critiqued after incorporating the suggestions in this guide, please contact the Career Center.

Please note: LinkedIn is constantly updating their site and adding
new features.  This guide will be updated on a quarterly basis to
reflect those changes.

How to Write an Effective LinkedIn Profile - Career Center - Boston College

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