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LinkedIn and Social Media

Branding Yourself on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social networking website that helps you create a professional online presence. LinkedIn allows you to connect with organizations, recruiters, hiring managers, and professionals and is a powerful tool for career exploration.

Quick Tips for Creating a LinkedIn Profile

When creating a LinkedIn profile the goal is to personalize your profile to highlight your skills, knowledge, and personal attributes.

  • Complete your profile 100% and include a professional photo
  • Personalize your headline instead of using default titles
  • Use industry appropriate keywords and phrases in your summary and include the type of positions that you are seeking
  • Include involvement, volunteer experiences, and internships and elaborate on your qualifications
  • Use the profile sections designed just for students, such as Courses, Projects, Languages, Certifications, and Organizations
  • Add media to your profile to show examples of your work, research, or impact
  • Customize your URL to ensure easy sharing (e.g. utilize your actual name)
  • Be a content contributor by finding insightful articles and create industry-related content to share with your network (ex. use the LinkedIn Publishing Platform or link your SlideShare account)
  • Use the trending content tool and share own your ideas about trends in groups
  • Expand your reach by including your LinkedIn on your resume or other professional sites

Did you know that the Career Connections Center reviews and provides feedback on LinkedIn profiles for University of Florida Students? Visit our Career Planning page to learn more.


Start Building Connections on LinkedIn

Building a meaningful network on LinkedIn is quite simple. Here’s how to start:


LinkedIn makes it easy to grow your network and build authentic connections with other professionals. Use LinkedIn to keep in touch with people you meet in real life, or to reach out and spark brand new relationships.

  • Connect with professionals through career fairs, conferences, and organizations
  • Request business cards to follow up and connect on LinkedIn
  • Always customize the message that serves as an invitation to connect
  • Communicate your skills and professional goals


Groups are typically either organized by topic or serve as a place for those who belong to various professional groups to keep in touch. They are a great place to meet like-minded professionals, grow your network, keep up with trends, and find out about new opportunities.

  • Join groups that correspond to large professional associations related to your field
  • Find people with interesting jobs and see what groups they belong to
  • Don’t just “join” groups; join conversations. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or start conversations


LinkedIn provides an opportunity for those that have worked with you in a professional manner to write a digital recommendation for your profile.

  • Choose recommenders that are willing to provide a positive recommendation of your qualifications
  • Ask supervisors, professors, or advisors to write a recommendation for you.

Skills & Endorsements

Use this section to identify your industry knowledge and interpersonal skills. Your connections can endorse these skills. Both your skills and the number of endorsements for each are displayed on your profile. You may also choose to endorse your connections for the skills you have seen them use.

For more information on how LinkedIn can help you develop professionally, please download our LinkedIn Guide.

Online Presence and Social Media

Why is an Online Presence so Important?

  • Employers often screen candidates based on what they find online
  • Your online and social media presence is often an employer’s “first impression” of you
  • Social media grants access to an endless number of digital communities and hidden opportunities
  • Can be used to establish and build relationships with professionals all over the world

Online Red Flags

Your online presence and behavior on social media is a large part of your professional brand. Be mindful of behaviors that could be seen as negative or raise concerns for future employers. It is important to be authentic, but if your words and posts do not align with those of future employers you could ultimately harm your career. Avoid:

  • Discriminatory Remarks
  • Offensive Language
  • Controversial/combative posts or responses
  • Breaching confidentiality – disclosing company information
  • Consistent negativity
  • Inappropriate photos or videos

How to Curate Your Professional Identity

  • Start early and tell your professional story. This can help showcase your professional growth and connect you to mentors
  • Keep your profile and content updated regularly
  • Create content
    • Blog
    • Share Articles
    • Publish Articles
  • Clean-up personal pages. Delete any content that no longer represents the image that you want to portray.
  • Determine whether you need separate professional and personal accounts.