Making the Most of LinkedIn & Social Media

What does social media have to do with your career? Well, sometimes everything. From some schools who are making LinkedIn part of the college admission process to finding jobs via social media to having your online presence be an extension of who you are both personally and in your career, our online presence can have a large impact.


How we’re perceived online is an existential question (and interesting research topic) that we’re all still grabbling with. Judgements can be quickly made on profile appearance and, for better or worse, some employers will make hiring decisions based on that. Consider all the platforms you use, such as Instagram, Handshake, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, etc. and how this online presence, or variety of presences, may vary how you appear in class, at work, and/or in public.

Sometimes it’s worth Googling yourself to see what comes up. It can be a nerve-racking experience for those of us who have some anxiety about our online presence – for others, it can be fun and encouraging. Consider what you see and if you’re okay with a potential employer seeing it. Not all employers will Google you, but it’s best to consider that anyone looking at your resume or application may do it.

Privacy is a large consideration in this process. Fortunately, most social media platforms have the ability to adjust privacy settings to prevent unapproved people from viewing your profile or account. On LinkedIn and Handshake, this will change how recruiters and employers are able to access you, but it can also keep you from receiving spam requests or undesired offers and views.

What should I have on my profile?

LinkedIn is similar to Handshake in a way. It allows you to search for jobs and also create a virtual resume. However, it is also a social media network and there’s many aspects to it. Here’s a quick checklist of what’s you can include on LinkedIn to get you started on building or expanding your profile.

Post a professional headshot or a nice photo of you for your profile picture.

Create a headline that tells employers what you’re looking for, is concise, and thought-provoking. Consider including keywords you expect to be searched by.

Describe what motivates you, what you’re skilled at, what’s next for your in your career, or what sort of work and opportunities you’re looking for.

This section is like your chronological resume, though it can be much longer. List all work experiences, starting with most recent, include part-time work, and state what you work you did and what you achieved during each experience. If you have any resources to include, such as presentations or projects, these are great to add.

Make sure you’re including where you worked and your job titles, as this can help provide information to employers about your background and also help LinkedIn search for relevant open roles when you’re job searching.

Including your education can help you being building a network and finding people to connect with. Opinions differ on whether you should continue to include high school after junior year, but if you do include it, you may be able to connect with folks you went to high school with, if you’re interested in networking with them or keeping in touch.

Focusing on any volunteer work you’ve done can help showcase causes that are important to you and some employers may look for students that are involved in service projects.

Add at least 5 skills you want to market about yourself. Keep them relevant to your professional skills and keep in mind that your connections can endorse you for things you excel at.

Ask for recommendations from connections such as supervisors, professors, or classmates that you have worked closely with. This adds credibility to your Skills and Endorsements, and also validates your work history.

Include any courses that are relevant to your job search and include a brief synopsis of what the class covered and what you learned.

If you are part of student or professional organizations, make sure to include these along with any leadership positions you might have held in them. Describe what you did in each organization – this is a great place to showcase your personal interests and aspects of your career you have grown in outside of your role or studies.

What else can LinkedIn Do?

LinkedIn offers job searching, of course, but it also hosts groups related to certain career fields or affinity groups. It also allows you to connect with alumni from your school and, if you have access to LinkedIn Learning, participate in a variety of career courses. View this article to learn more about what LinkedIn can offer for college students.

LinkedIn can also help you with networking. You can connect with people if you believe they can help you or you can help them and use those connections to your advantage if you’re looking to learn more about a job posted by the company they work at. If you apply for a job through LinkedIn and a recruiter is listed, you can also reach out to them and introduce yourself after applying.

Connecting with Augsburg on LinkedIn

Many parts of Augsburg have their own profile, pages, or groups on the LinkedIn. Here’s a short list of a few you can connect with:

If you are a part of a specific program or student organization, check to see if there’s a LinkedIn group for you. If not, consider talking to your organization and see if it would be valuable to create one!

This post is adapted from resources from Davenport University and Penn State University.