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Build your online presence on LinkedIn

one of the most powerful social networking tools for professionals with more than 433 million members in over 200 countries and territories.

LinkedIn is one of the most powerful social networking tools for professionals with more than 433 million members in over 200 countries and territories. The evolving trend of connection-based recruitment is changing how UBC students and alumni tell their professional stories online, find work, and develop their careers.

Whether you have a LinkedIn profile already and you're looking for ways to make the most of it, or you have no clue where to even start- don't worry! We've got you.

Build a profile

Professional profile photo

Pick a photo you would want your potential employers to see. Make sure you're the focal point of the photo (preferably a headshot), but by all circumstances, avoid selfies! If you don't have a photo yet, grab a friend, a camera, and go around campus to take some quality shots.

Keep in mind that a LinkedIn profile picture is not the same as what you'd post to Facebook or Instagram, so keep it professional! Profiles with photos are 7x more likely to be viewed, so increase your visibility by using the right one. 

For the best quaility profile photo, choose one with a resolution of 1400 x 425 pixels.

Summary

Once someone clicks on your name, it'll lead them to your profile. The summary will be the first section where you'll get to personally introduce youself. You have free reign here to describe who you are without the limitations of boxes and labels. Be compelling by writing about your passions and what you’re striving towards. What are you currently doing in school? Where are you hoping to be in five years? What are your career aspirations? What are things that you enjoy doing? This is a chance for your own unique voice to be heard, and ultimately, it should encourage people to read further into your profile.

Experiences

List all your work experiences - both part-time and full time. Each experience should be followed by a brief description of your accomplishments and responsibilities in those previous or current roles. Be sure to write using accomplishment statements to best showcase your experiences

​Volunteer experience & causes

This section shows what you care about and what you spend your time doing outside of work and school. You should write about your volunteer experiences as you did in your work experience section. Even at non-paying positions, the skills you gained can be just as valuable to employers.

Pick out several causes from the options to show your support and interest in those fields.

​Education

Include your UBC education. Not only will it keep you connected to other UBC students and alumni, but you'll find it especially useful after you graduate to keep up with what they're doing. Make sure to state your major or intended major and your expected graduation year.

If you have won any awards, you can detail them here, or in the “Honours and Awards” section and also if you’re proud of your GPA, don’t be afraid to show it off in this section

Courses​

Add courses that you think are relevant to careers you’re looking into. If you think a course you've done has given you transferable knowledge or skills, make sure to include it. Not only that, but adding courses that you've done well in and really enjoyed, demonstrates to others your range of academic interest.

In addition to being its own section, your course list will appear accordingly under the schools in your “Education” section.

Projects

Include all the languages you speak even if you aren’t fully fluent. LinkedIn allows you to rank the languages from: Native or bilingual proficiency, full professional proficiency, professional working proficiency, limited working proficiency, elementary proficiency.

Be truthful about your abilities and when in doubt, go one rank lower than you think you are.

Skills & Endorsements

This is the section where you include your tangible work abilities. Employers could potentially look at this section to see what you already know and what others deem to be your strengths.

Pick out some professional skills that you have developed from your work and volunteer experience. You can add things like: Social Media, Volunteer Coordination, Adobe Photoshop, Customer Service, etc.

Once you've got a list going, people can click the “+” button beside any of the skills to endorse you and you can do the same for others.

Make connections

LinkedIn has over 433 million registered users. This means there are a lot of people you can connect with, and chances are, the majority of your colleagues, peers, professors, and supervisors are on it. So who should you connect with? And how? While there are no hard and fast rules to this, think quality over quantity.

Who should you connect with?

How to write a connection request

  • LinkedIn provides you with an auto-generated connection invitation. However, it is more effective to craft a carefully thought-out, personalized message emphasizing why you wish to connect. If this is someone you worked with or have met offline, state why you would like to keep in touch with them via LinkedIn. If this is someone you have never met, include what you have in common with them. Are they in your career field of interest? Did they go to UBC as well? What do you wish to learn from following their updates?
  • Browse through these example templates to get an idea of voice, tone, and what to include in the invite depending on the individual you want to connect with.​

Elevate your profile

Once you’ve built a basic profile, work on continually refining it and using it to expand your network. Just like your resume, your LinkedIn profile is always a work-in-progress. Take advantage of the many LinkedIn features that can help further showcase your strengths and skills to employers.

Show your work

Now that you have a list of experience, add some media to each one to exemplify the work that you did in your position. Examples include portfolios (writing, graphics, videos, etc.) and website URLs, so long as they are not confidential. This adds a layer of credibility to your written bullets and accomplishment statements.

Recommendations

LinkedIn recommendations are testimonials given by people who know and appreciate your work. By having your strengths, skills, and positive contributions highlighted by others, recommendations provide you with an “opportunity to have others reinforce your claims.” Remember: these individuals are taking time out of their busy schedules to vouch for you. Consider the following tips to ensure you’re making the most out of this valuable feature:

Who?
  • Aim to have one recommendation from each organization you worked at. Ideally, choose someone who you reported to or directly oversaw your work. You can even request a recommendation from a subordinate; that is, someone who you led and could vouch for your leadership skills.
  • Hint: When someone writes you a recommendation, it will show up on their own profile under “Given.” Ensure that whomever you are requesting a recommendation from will be happy to provide you one. Try browsing their LinkedIn profile to see how many recommendations they’ve given in the past, and to whom. If you see none, you can still request one. However, have a plan B ready in case they do not respond. (Don’t take this personally - some individuals don’t give recommendations to be fair to everyone they work with).
How?
  • Before sending a recommendation request through LinkedIn, for courtesy, email the individual asking for permission to request one. Follow-up via email if they do not respond within a few days. Once you get the “okay” from the contact, send them a formal LinkedIn recommendation request, but ensure that you are already connected on LinkedIn. If you’re not, your first step is to request to connect.
  • Although it is possible to send your request to up to three contacts at a time, this is not recommended. Craft a personalized message and be mindful of the individual’s time. Nothing says “I don’t value your time” like an evidently mass-sent message.
  • Provide context that will make it easy for the individual to write you a recommendation. List your official job title, relationship to the recommender, and strengths you would like highlighted. Even better is listing particular projects you helped execute and the skills and behaviours you demonstrated in the process. Try to make your skills and strengths as specific as possible so the individual can quickly think back to what you accomplished.

What now?

  • Once your contact writes you a recommendation, read it carefully and let them know if there is something you would like tweaked. Remember that you don’t have to accept it if you think it doesn’t add value to your profile. If you are happy with it, be careful to not let it go unpublished. Go to “Recommendations,” and click “+ Add to Profile” under the “Received” tab to have it appear on your profile.
  • Say thank you! No one is obligated to write you a recommendation. If you receive one, remember to show your appreciation. Send a nice thank you email or handwritten card, and consider writing them a LinkedIn recommendation in return. Read more for tips on writing a stellar recommendation.

As you gain experience

  • As you gain experience in different positions and at different organizations, you can start to gradually remove bullets from each individual list of experiences. As a general rule of thumb, stick to two to three concise bullets that relay your experience in a way that is easy to understand for anybody. Also feel free to remove whole sections of experience as you tailor your profile to a certain career field, especially if you feel they are irrelevant to that industry. Less is sometimes more.

Find a job

Now that you've built out your profile and made some connections, you can start to use LinkedIn as a tool to start your career. 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to seek out perfect candidates. You may just be who they're looking for!

  • Download the LinkedIn Students App on iOS or Android to get a personalized guide to potential career paths. It’s a resource designed specifically for students to explore career options. You can find out the kinds of positions that UBC alumni are in right now as well as the companies that they are working for. The app customizes what it shows you based on your profile details so you’ll be getting information best suited for you.
  • Follow companies and organizations that you're interested in. You'll get updates about what the company is up to and if they're hiring. You might just learn about a new student opening, internship, or a shadowing opportunity.
  • When you're ready to start your job search, head to the “Jobs” tab at the top of the LinkedIn site. From there, you can filter the kind of work you're looking for by location and experience level.
  • LinkedIn also recommends jobs for you in the “Discover” section, so make sure to customize your job preferences in the “Preferences” tab to see the job opportunities that are tailored for you.
  • This is also a time to make use of your Connections. If you have a Connection working at a company you're interested in, send them a message and see if they're willing to answer any questions you may have. You never know if you they can get you acquainted with someone or somewhere closer to where you want to be.
  • Check out LinkedIn’s tip sheet for students looking to find a job or internship.

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