LinkedIn Profile Development Checklist

LinkedIn is an effective tool to network virtually with others. To allow employers, recruiters, and others to find you. Create a profile that stands out and will entice professionals to contact you once they view your profile. Use this checklist as a guide to update your LinkedIn profile, optimize your visibility, and showcase your best work.


  • Upload a professional headshot with a simple background
  • Remember to dress in business attire when taking your LinkedIn photo


  • The default setting is your most recent job title. The headline should reflect a brand statement that will attract attention


  • The search feature allows you to conduct searches by levels of connections, the industry of employment, location, and company


  • In the “My Network” tab, you can view your invitations and individuals you may know


  • You can search for entry-level jobs, experienced-level positions, and internships. Employment opportunities are available in all industry sectors, including business, education, science, social sciences, non-profit, government, and more!


  • Ideal to have 1-2 recommendations for each of your most recent work/project experiences
  • When requesting a recommendation, your recommender must be a LinkedIn member
  • Customize the recommendation request to share why you are asking for a recommendation and what you would specifically like them to highlight; this will help each recommendation cover different aspects of your skills and qualifications


  • Connections should only be made with people you have a personal or professional relationship with, such as former co-workers, supervisors, faculty members, or professional colleagues
  • Ideally, you would be able to recommend each other for networking or job opportunities
  • Always customize connection requests; this adds a personal touch and will remind the person who you are and how you know them
  • Begin by connecting with family and friends; the more 1st degree connections you have, the more helpful your 2nd degree connections will be
  • Connect with classmates and professors, as well as current and past employers and colleagues
  • Continue to maintain your LinkedIn connections and add new ones as you meet new people at networking events or jobs
  • Make notes on their profile to track your engagement activities 


  • Edit the Public Profile URL to your name. Add your personalized LinkedIn URL to your resume, business cards, and email signature


  • Create a professional summary written in the first person, focusing on answering three main questions: (1) Who are you professionally? (2) What do you do or want to do? (3) Why are you unique? What are your skills and specialties? 
  • Include your contact information (e.g., professional email address), which makes it easier for people to get in touch with you (note that this can also be listed in the Additional Information section)
  • Be sure to include keywords for your industry; review job descriptions and other professionals’ profiles, as well as the Skills tool, to get more ideas on which keywords to use
  • This section is crucial for SEO
  • You may add any presentations, documents, projects, or videos to this section as well[1]


  • Post your current position as well as at least two past jobs, internships, and/or volunteer opportunities (note that volunteer experiences could instead also be listed in a separate “Volunteering & Causes” section)
  • Under each position, list the bullet points from your resume. Feel free to add additional points if you’d like
  • Use bullet points for easy scanning and start your bullets with action verbs, just as you would on a resume
  • Note that you can now post presentation materials, writing samples, videos, and other industry-related materials to highlight the work you completed at each job[2]


  • Include all education as well as honors, awards, activities, significant projects, relevant courses, and/or other highlights
  • Note that you can receive recommendations from professors, which would be connected to this section
  • You can also add a link to videos, images, documents, or presentations to showcase any school-related work and projects3


  • Join up to 50 professional and social groups to highlight your interests and help you to expand your network
  • Other helpful groups include Professional Associations, community service organizations, interests groups, and the school’s alumni network



  • Include your interests, both professional and personal; professional interests should relate somewhat to your field, and personal interests should be unique

Advice for Contacting

  • Another place to list your contact information (e.g., email and phone number) and to specify how you want to be contacted


Note that you can reorder the accomplishments section on your profile and can add areas that are not part of the standard template. For example, if you are a student, you may want your Education section to come first after your Summary section. Furthermore, you may want to highlight a specific class project under a “Projects” section to showcase industry-level skills and teamwork abilities to a prospective employer.  Additional accomplishments that you can include:

– Courses
– Test Scores
– Honors and Awards
– Languages
– Projects
– Organizations
– Patents
– Publications
– Certifications
– Volunteering & Causes


Unlike Facebook, you want your profile to be as open as possible so that potential employers and other professionals can find and reach out to you about opportunities. You can control how people view your information and status updates in Settings

Need help with your LinkedIn profile?

Stop by the Career Services & Internship Program Office during our drop-in hours or request an appointment on Handshake to review your profile with a career advisor

[1] Be sure to use watermarks over portfolios or other information that you want to remain proprietary; note that these documents will also populate in the Project section

[2] Be sure to use watermarks over portfolios or other information that you want to remain proprietary; note that these documents will also populate in the Project section

By Gerald Tang
Gerald Tang Executive Director