How to build a LinkedIn profile
Updated: Mar 18
Your LinkedIn profile is a professional landing page for you to manage your personal brand. A LinkedIn profile is a great tool for you to let people know your skills, share professional experiences, describe your education details, and connect you to people in careers or positions of interest. Your profile will be your professional storyboard, make sure your profile is complete and a strong representative of you.
Use a professional profile photo
A good profile photo increases the credibility of your profile and is expected as part of a complete profile. This can be a professional headshot or a quality photo taken from your phone. You can also add a background image to personalize your profile. Keep the image a close cropped head and shoulders shot, making sure your attire and background are professional, clean and simple. If you are pursing a more artistic industry, you have a little more flexibility in the image you choose but its often best to make this a flattering and realistic photo of your face. Check out some more tips for picking the right LinkedIn profile photo.
Edit your profile headline
Your headline is created automatically when you add your positions to your profile and most students will default to “Student at Lehigh University”. However, you can re-write it to highlight your career interests or a current position. Keep in mind that before you are connected to others, your headline is one of the only visible pieces of your profile displayed with your connection request or from the search page.
“Seeking an internship in marketing and communications”
“Global minded student seeking work with an international brand in NYC”
“Pursuing consulting, development and PR full time opportunities”
“Computer Science sophomore looking for experience in software development”
“Junior with creative skills in graphic design and social media”
Open to work feature
You can let recruiters know you’re open to new job opportunities with the OpenToWork feature. Add “open to work” to your profile picture by clicking your picture and choosing the frame. You can also click the “Open to” button on your profile and choose “finding a new job” from the drop down menu.
Tell your story
The About/Summary section of your profile should express your mission, motivation, and skills to people who view your profile. Ideally, you should limit the text to one or two paragraphs while filling this section. The first 300 characters are most important (and all that is visible until you click “see more”). Avoid repeating basic information found elsewhere on your profile; instead, summarize career goals, next steps, and your career interests. Don't just list your academic major, tell me why you choose it or your favorite class. Instead of simply listing your most recent job or internship, tell me why it represents your passion. Avoid listing skills and instead build them into a story or description of your best assets. This section should help others get to know you and your future goals.
Include examples of your work
Keep your profile updated with videos, links, presentations, photographs, publications, or other media samples to provide quick access to your work portfolio. This will help bring your skills to life, especially when they have visual interest or are difficult to convey via a resume.
Highlight your skills
A list of relevant skills on your profile helps showcase your abilities to recruiters. If you need ideas, think about the buzz words or industry specific terms associated with positions of interest. Your connections can endorse your skills, which will increase the likelihood of you being discovered for opportunities related to the skills you possess. You can also take assessments for the skills you’ve listed on your profile to showcase your proficiency.
Request recommendations from your connections
A recommendation is written to recognize or commend a connection, such as a colleague, project partner, supervisor or professor. There’s no limit to the number of recommendations you can request. Once you accept a recommendation written by a connection, it becomes visible to your network by default. You can request recommendations by sending messages to co-workers, classmates, supervisors, managers, mentors or faculty.
Build Your Network
Your network plays a crucial part in unlocking connections across LinkedIn. It’ll help you understand what is happening in specific industries and introduce you to the contacts and connections of people you already know.
Make Connections. Start by adding your family, friends, classmates, and coworkers to your network. As you gain experiences through projects, internships, and other experiential learning activities, continue to build your network by connecting with individuals that you work and interact with, like your supervisors and faculty. You can also join the Lehigh University Alumni Group! After you make new connections, read the Networking Guide to learn more about how to build and leverage professional relationships.
Follow. Be sure to follow people, companies, or topics that you are interested in learning more about. This will keep your feed full of information and perspectives related to your career interests. You should also explore the fresh perspectives page, which will display recommended sources for you to follow.
Get Engaged. Use the LinkedIn Events feature to identify professional development events related to your career interests. Participating in online workshops, seminars, and networking events is a great way to meet new people and continue building your professional network.
Stay Active. Participating in conversations on LinkedIn can allow you to share your perspective on relevant issues and topics with others in career fields of interest. You can “like” and comment on posts and articles you read, or you can join LinkedIn Groups to connect and grow with members who share your interests, experiences, or aspirations. Your interaction with others will appear in the Activity section on your profile, so it is important to stay engaged and demonstrate activity on LinkedIn.
Browse Lehigh alumni profiles
You can leverage the Lehigh network on LinkedIn by searching and sorting 60,000+ alumni profiles on the Lehigh University Alumni page. Identify profiles that you want to connect with by using the keyword, academic major or location filter. When you send a connection, always include a note (this will pop up as an optional next step after you click the connect button). You are limited to 300 characters so focus your message on two topics; how you are connected and a request everyone could say yes to.
Hi Michael. As a current Health, Medicine and Society sophomore at Lehigh, I would love to learn how you applied your Lehigh education to your role as a community health educator. Do you have a few minutes to share more about your work and provide internship search advice for me?
Hi Sarah. I was drawn to your profile because I am exploring career options for Global studies majors. As a junior at Lehigh, I am hoping to learn more about government affairs related positions and I was hoping you would have some information about how best to use my summer.
Need more help developing your LinkedIn profile?
Hire Lehigh blog: Leveraging LinkedIn during a Job/Internship Search
Hire Lehigh blog: Lehigh Connects v. LinkedIn
LinkedIn Higher Education: An Overview of what LinkedIn can do for students
Zety: 99 LinkedIn Profile Tips