Building a strong and diverse professional network is extremely important for MBA students and alumni. A completed and up-to-date LinkedIn profile can improve your chances of being found and recruited by top companies, landing your dream internship or job and developing beneficial professional connections. Director of Rady School Career Connections, Terra Saltzman-Baker, shares her top five tips to ensure that you are making the most of your LinkedIn profile and maximizing your resources.
1. Maximize your chances of being found
The first step in securing a job or internship is ensuring that recruiters and hiring managers can find your profile. Personalize your LinkedIn URL and include it on your resume and business cards.
Companies search for “all-star” level profiles, so that should be your goal (and here’s how to get your profile there). To get started, connect with your friends, colleagues and professors. A complete profile has at least 50 connections, but successful LinkedIn users often exceed this by far.
2. Make a good first impression
LinkedIn reports that profiles with pictures get 14 times more views than those without pictures. Use a professional and clear picture for your profile. The picture should be well-lit and current, and not pixelated or blurry.
Ensure that the headline under your name contains more than just your current position and instead reflects your skills and areas of achievement. Use industry-focused keywords in your headline that you would like to appear in the search results for. Look at profiles of your competitors, and of people in positions that you hope to be, in and use ideas that you like.
3. Keep your profile updated and complete
Once a month, turn off your network notifications and update your profile. A complete and well-written profile reflects attention to detail and a strong work ethic, so take the time to include your specific skills and proven results. Stay away from generalizations and clichés and instead detail and quantify your achievements to give recruiters a better idea of what you can bring to the table. Correctly label your past experiences so that your profile includes company and school logos.
4. Leverage the Rady School network
Adding the Rady School in your educational experience will help recruiters associate your skills with the Rady School’s prestigious reputation in life sciences and entrepreneurship (Click here to add the Rady School to your profile).
In addition, you can utilize the Rady School alumni network by using the advanced search tool to look for alumni in your industry or at companies where you would like to work. You can then message them through LinkedIn or search for their email on the Rady School alumni network. Visa versa, you will be more accessible to others in the Rady community who may have an interest in reaching out to you about opportunities or guidance.
By joining the Rady School’s closed LinkedIn group (open only to Rady graduate students, graduate alumni, faculty and staff) you will be also able to network and stay aware of relevant events and opportunities.
5. Take charge of your personal brand
You want your image to project a well-developed individual with specific and desirable skills and examples of your experiences and results. In the Skills and Endorsements section of your profile drag the skills you want to emphasize to the top and delete irrelevant skills.
For example, if are interested in Analytics Manager positions, you might want to highlight skills like data analysis and SQL.
Add media links to published work and be concise and straightforward with your writing. If you are a current student, you can also beef up your image by adding relevant coursework or student projects.
About Rady Graduate Career Connections
Rady Graduate Career Connections provides career management tools and resources for Rady School students and alumni through one-on-one coaching, career workshops, and business connections. For advice and assistance, visit the Career Connections website.
Terra Saltzman-Baker is the Director of Career Connections at the Rady School of Management.