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Oct 30 / Kimberly Schroeder

How to Develop Your LinkedIn Profile

According to a 2015 Adweek article, 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn.   Having a great LinkedIn page is important not only for a career post-graduation, but also for internships and practicums.

Some of the offerings at SIS are “hot skills” as listed on the LinkedIn Blog.  Data mining, data visualization and interface design are listed as top skills to have.  Be sure to emphasize this if you want to work in this field, especially in non-library settings.

For library positions, be sure to note:

  • Customer service skills and any supervision, no matter the discipline show important management ability.
  • Coordination of volunteers is also highly valued as so many institutions utilize the people in their community.
  • Technology skills are also important so be sure to call those out.  Include everything you have been exposed to in class and out.
  • Ability to work independently and in committees is part of most employers’ wish lists.  Be sure to call out collaborative skills as well as independent ones(self-starting abilities).
  • Understanding searching and access makes for a solid employee but newer digital access skills are also of value.  It shows that you can see the big picture and fulfill patrons needs for information by packaging high demand information for easy access.

In the archival realm, be sure to list collections you have worked with, historical knowledge, and the core archival technologies that you use comfortably.

In digital curation, look to explain your problem-solving ability, technology skills, understanding of formats and metadata and current limitations and innovations of access and preservation.

For UX, you may need to show your analytical abilities with choosing the best path for site creation and understanding user needs.

No matter your concentration, do competitive research on your discipline in LinkedIn.  Use search terms to look for people that you are competing with or who have the job that you want.  Get clues from their path in order to develop your path.

Here is some quick advice on what you can do to improve your profile.  Remember that you want to paint a thorough picture of your skills and be easy to find.

  • Think about your most marketable coursework no matter your emphasis and include class projects. Include links to the projects if available.
  • Professional volunteerism counts! Include it in your profile.
  • Include a profile picture. According to a article your profile is 14 times more likely to be viewed with a picture.
  • Include tech skills as these are highly valued.
  • Fill in all sections so that your profile looks complete and you are not judged as overlooking or avoiding something.
  • If you have unique skills like a foreign language or advanced technology be sure to emphasize that.
  • Any publishing or presenting at conferences needs to be listed.
  • Get a professionally sounding email address that is not using an antiquated vendor like Yahoo or AOL. Use a personal one like Gmail.  In this discipline, you need to look on top of technology.
  • Get colleagues to recommend you in the Endorsements section. If you are really new to the field, have a few people write out a paragraph endorsement rather than just checking off your skills.  This will provide some content until you can get more skills checked off by colleagues.
  • Proofread carefully and have others proofread!
  • Check in at least once a week to your profile to keep everything current.
  • Post once a week as well. An article in the field or an update on an interesting project that you are working on will show your professional contributions.
  • Be sure to be involved in professional organizations and mention memberships and conferences attended.

Additional Resources (several articles)