Before You Start

When I first started creating my LinkedIn profile, I realized I needed to attach many files to the profile that I had not yet prepared. This made the process cumbersome, and I almost gave up. To combat apathy, follow the subsequent tips before you get LinkedIn.

Create Your Resume

LinkedIn will ask you to insert your education, experience and skills, but I have found that uploading your resume will automatically fill these sections. Uploading your resume saves you time and encourages you to use professional language to explain your involvements. It also pushes you to have a ready-to-use resume for various job and involvement applications. If you attend the University of Florida and would like your resume critiqued, e-mail your resume to the Warrington Diplomats.

Sample Resume provided by the Career Resource Center

Sample Resume

Choose a Professional Photo

Adding a photo to your profile is one way to make your profile stand out to employers. I recommend choosing a head shot of yourself smiling. Also, make sure that you are the only one in your photo and that you are wearing business professional attire above the waistline. You may have to take a photo for this purpose, so being aware of this beforehand will only save you time once you get to LinkedIn.

Example of an effective LinkedIn profile picture

Effective Picture

Tips for Female Profile Picture

With all of the accessory options females are exposed to, it is easy to forget that dangly heart-shaped earrings are not appropriate when trying to land an internship or job. The best thing to keep in mind when dressing for success is to keep the accessories clean and small.

  1. Jewlery
    • Necklace: Keep to a single strand of small pearls, silver or gold.
    • Earrings: Only fill one hole in each ear with a simple pearl or stud earring.
  2. Makeup
    • When searching for a job, wear natural looking makeup and apply it in moderation. More.
  3. Clothing
    • I encourage you to wear a solid color button-up top under your suit jacket. Stay away from low-cut tops as they will pull the attention away from your face. Such dress is also unprofessional.

Collect Your Personal Information

As with every new account you create on the Web, LinkedIn will ask for a lot of personal information. I have included a checklist below of the unique questions LinkedIn asks you to include. Collect this information before you start creating your profile to eliminate wasted time.

Web address to your Facebook and/or Twitter profiles
Web address to your Web site and/or blog
Cover letter called your summary on LinkedIn
Portfolio of previous work
List of references and their contact information

I recommend you ask those who may serve as valuable references to you, such as your teachers, employers and others who you network with, for permission to include them as a reference on your LinkedIn page. Start by explaining to them that you are creating your first LinkedIn profile and need to include references and their contact information. Choose references that know you well and will speak in your favor if they are contacted by an interested employer.

Once you create your profile, your next step is to send your references an invitation to write a recommendation for you. Click the "Get Recommended" link to do so. This recommendation will be embedded in your profile upon completion. Keep in mind that when choosing your references that they should be willing to write a recommendation for you that will be visible on the web.