What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is an online platform where early and seasoned professionals from a variety of fields connect for job and internship opportunities, collaboration, and networking. It allows you to represent the "professional you" to your future boss, coworkers, and connections. A similar resource just for students is Handshake.

LinkedIn is...

  1. A place to find jobs and internships
  2. A tool to connect with and strengthen professional relationships
  3. A way to stay up to date with companies you're interested in, and get exposure to different organizations
  4. A way to share where you are in your professional journey

One of the most helpful features you'll want to explore is the UC Davis alumni tool. By visiting the UC Davis profile page on LinkedIn, you can browse the 220,000+ UC Davis alumni/students and filter by major, company, job title, and location.

Building Your Profile

Click on the sections below to view tips and best practices.

  • Profile Picture / Banner Image
  • Profiles with photos are more likely to be viewed.
    • Knowing work environments differ greatly, dress in a way consistent with the professional standards of your desired industry or organization. Check out the profiles of professionals in your field of interest for inspiration
    • Welcoming expression, facing forward, and you alone
    • Neutral background, closely cropped, and good lighting; avoid selfies

    Banner image reinforces your "professional brand"
    • Visually communicates your accomplishments, values, skills, or interests
  • Headline
  • Write an informative but punchy profile headline.
    • First impression, tells your network what you care about / what your goals are
    • Recruiters and hiring managers are more likely to find and click on your profile if you have a customized headline.
    • Check out the profiles of alumni or people you admire for inspiration
    • AVOID: cliches and buzzwords

    • Avoid: Student at University of California, Davis
    • Customized Headline: Student Researcher | Genetic Counseling | Aspiring to Advance Personalized Medicine
  • About
  • Because this is one of the first sections that people see, it is important to provide a specific and succinct professional summary. (2,000 characters max)
    • Include academic/co-curricular accomplishments, career-related competencies, as well as your professional goals and aspirations.
    • This section is searchable, so include relevant keywords here. However, only the first 2-3 lines appear above "See More..." – so put the priority information first.
    • Use the ICC's Networking Pitch Handout to get started
  • Featured / Activity
  • Your user activity on LinkedIn (posts, likes, comments) appears in the "Activity" section of your profile page.
    • Be sure to engage with content that reflects positively on the "professional brand" you want to create!
    • You can select posts/articles to pin to the "Featured" section of your page.
    • Follow companies, join groups, and connect with industry leaders in your field of interest. This will help you find relevant content, including job postings, events, networking opportunities, and relevant articles. While you're at it, follow the ICC on LinkedIn!
  • Experience
  • This section can include multiple forms of experience during your time at UC Davis: paid or unpaid, on-campus or off-campus.
    • Although there are "Volunteer" and "Organizations" sections later on, it is recommended to include unpaid internships, research, long-term volunteering, and leadership roles in the Experience section.
    • These can showcase valuable skills such as leadership, problem solving, collaboration, and communication.

    What to include for each experience:
    • In the "Description," craft 2-6 bullet point Accomplishment Statements using the formula: ACTION VERB + CONTEXT = RESULTS. Check the Career Resource Manual for examples.
    • Include your top 3-5 skills; these will also appear in the "Skills" section of your profile.
    • In the "Media" section, upload or link to work samples when appropriate (e.g. PDF presentation of a training you facilitated or a flier for an event you coordinated)
  • Education
  • Include:
    • Major(s) and Minor(s)
    • Study abroad or summer programs
    • You can include other colleges attended, or you may choose to omit them

    • In the "Description" section, you can include courses relevant to the jobs and/or careers you are pursuing.
    • If the courses have supplemental aspects like labs, be sure to include this information, e.g. "Organic Chemistry (lab)".

    Don't be shy!
    • Highlight a strong GPA, honors or awards.
    • Upload or link to work samples from meaningful projects.
  • Skills
  • Start identifying skills you have and claim them!
    • To get ideas of relevant skills, look at profiles of people in your field of interest
    • Tip: Pin your top 3 skills so they appear above the "Show More" button.

    To help you identify your own skillset, see the ICC's Transferable Skills Inventory.
  • Additional Sections
  • Volunteer Experience
    • For meaningful, long-term volunteer experience, it is recommended to list them in the main "Experience" section.
    • Instead, use this section to mention personal involvement that is not related to your career goals.

    • Get past supervisors, coworkers, professors, or TAs to write a brief recommendation (100-150 words).
    • Recommendations that you receive AND give to others will appear on your profile.

    Projects, Publications, Honors & Awards
    • These sections are so far down the profile, we recommend also highlighting relevant projects and achievements in the "Description" section of your Education and Experience sections.
  • Tips and Best Practices
  • Start with 50 People You Know
    • You must get to 50 connections before you can see people outside of your network
    • Start with UC Davis connections: Current students, classmates, club members, faculty and TAs, advisors, mentors, and alumni
    • Other connections: supervisors (current and former), HS teachers and peers, coaches, faith communities, and the families of your friends/peers/classmates

    Connecting with UC Davis Alumni
    • Visit the UC Davis profile page on LinkedIn in order to browse UC Davis alumni
    • Search by major, where they live, and where they work.

    Sending Connection Requests
    • ALWAYS add a short note in your invitation to connect (300 characters max)
    • Your note should answer these two questions: How did you learn about them? Why are you interested to connect?

    Profile URL and Privacy
    • Set your profile to public so your potential professional network can get to know you!
    • Create a custom URL: linkedin.com/in/yournamehere
    • List your LinkedIn custom URL in the contact information section of your resume

If you have any questions about LinkedIn or would like your profile reviewed, please visit the ICC.