Think of your LinkedIn profile as a virtual “resume” that includes information about your education, experiences, skills, and much more. Keep in mind that your LinkedIn profile, similar to your resume, is an opportunity to brand yourself. So before you begin building your profile, you should think about how you want to communicate your brand. Ask yourself: What sets you apart from your peers? What unique contribution do you bring to the table?

Getting Started: Creating Your LinkedIn Profile

Steps for setting up your profile:

Already have a LinkedIn profile? Here are a few advanced profile suggestions:

  • Claim Your Own LinkedIn URL: You can create a unique URL for your public LinkedIn profile, which can then be listed in the header of your resume. Here are instructions for this.
  • Recommendations: Ask previous or current supervisors to write a brief recommendation that you can display on your profile.
  • Skill Endorsements: Ask your peers, coworkers, and supervisors to endorse you for a particular skill. Similar to recommendations, endorsements validate the strengths you have indicated on your profile. HINT: You can always endorse the skills of others and they just might return the favor. For more information on skill endorsements, click here.
  • Media: Consider uploading media (such as presentations, photos and videos) under each of your experiences. This provides a visual representation of the work you have completed and are capable of.

Additional Useful Links:


Using LinkedIn to Expand Your Network

LinkedIn categorizes everyone else on LinkedIn by degrees of separation. The people you are directly connected with are your “1st level” connections. Your “2nd level” connections are your 1st level connections’ connections (e.g. a friend of a friend). On LinkedIn, you are only able to communicate directly with people who are linked to you, to one of their connections, or who are in a group with you. Therefore, the more 1st level connections you have and the more groups you are a part of, the more useful LinkedIn will be.

Here are a few suggestions for expanding your LinkedIn network:

  • Request to connect with friends and family, fellow students and current and past coworkers who would serve as beneficial connections for your career development. Be sure to customize your invitation to connect (see below for examples).
  • Request to join the Wellesley Alumnae Network Group.
  • Join additional groups based on your interests, organizations and affiliations. Membership in these groups may help you learn about conferences, workshops, and other events to connect with professionals in your field(s) of interest. Connect online as a means to connect offline.

Additional Useful Links:


Using LinkedIn as a Tool for Career Exploration

LinkedIn is not just a platform for virtual networking, it is also an invaluable tool for exploring potential career options. The Alumni Tool and the Advanced Search function enable students to learn about and explore others’ career paths and identify alumnae & other professionals for informational interviews.

The Alumni Tool
If you are completely lost and have no idea what to do, the Alumni Tool is a great place to start, as you will be able to explore the career paths of alumnae, in hopes of discovering potential careers or career paths that might be a good fit. Take a look at this great resource page on the Alumni Tool feature.  To locate Wellesley’s Alumni Tool, search for “Wellesley College” and click on the Wellesley College University page. Then you’ll select “Explore Careers of Alumni.” You can also click here.

This tool enables you to filter existing alumnae profiles based on the following criteria:

  • Where are live
  • Where they work
  • What they do
  • What they studied
  • What they’re skilled at
  • How you’re connected

What can you do with this information? See below for a few suggestions:

  • Filter by “What They Studied.” This will show you all the career paths of alumnae who had the same major as you.
  • Filter by “What They’re Skilled At.” Select a skill that is important to you. What career paths align with this skill?
  • Filter by “What they do” to see where the majority of alumnae in this field/industry are located. This will also show you what companies employ the most alumnae.

Advanced Search Function
If you’re not able to filter the results to the specificity that you would like, the Advanced Search function is another great feature of LinkedIn. From your homepage or newsfeed, click on “Advanced” next to the search button. You are then able to filter by many criteria (Location, Company, Industry, School, etc.) as well as certain Keywords. Be sure to note, you are also able to search for more than just people; you can also search for companies and universities.

Examples: Are you interested in finding alumnae who work in patent law? Try using the following search criteria:

  • Keyword: patent
  • Industry: Law Practice, Legal Services
  • School: Wellesley College

Informational Interviews
Both the Advanced Search Function and the Alumni Tool are great resources to help research, find and reach out to individuals in order to conduct an informational interview. Check out the resource page on Informational Interviewing to learn more about this process!