Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

LinkedIn Networking

LinkedIn is the most widely-used social media platform designed for professional networking. LinkedIn was built with career networking in mind – it gives you the opportunity to connect with alumni, colleagues, fellow students, potential employers and many more. Not to mention, you can post and share professional content with people in your network, forging relationships you may not have otherwise had the opportunity to build. In fact, 70% of people using LinkedIn were hired at a company where they had a connection. Not only can you connect with individuals, but recruiters seeking candidates can reach out to you as well. By creating a LinkedIn profile, you are inviting opportunities in a multitude of ways!

Before launching your LinkedIn outreach, be sure to prepare and to have the following items ready to make public. A career coach can review your LinkedIn profile to make sure it shows you in the best light.

  • Add a professional photo to your account. Don’t have one? Visit LACS in FAC 18 to take a LinkedIn photo.
  • Create a Headline that describes your primary goal. Your Headline should change as your goals change. Example: University of Texas at Austin senior seeking government-related internship.
  • Craft a Summary and Profile that features your experience, skills and accomplishments.
  • Set your privacy controls to allow others to view your name, headline and other info.

Once your profile is ready, try the following options to build and grow your professional network.

  • Under the My Network tab, use Add Contacts to search for profiles of your friends, family and other contacts.
  • Under the My Network tab, use People You May Know for suggestions.
  • Using the Search function, head to The University of Texas at Austin page and click on Career Insights to view and search for alumni who work in industries, companies or jobs of interest to you.
  • Using the Search function, explore all the LinkedIn groups that appeal to you (by topic, location, population, etc). A few groups and university pages you might want to join are LACS, UT Liberal Arts, UT Austin and Texas Exes.

When you send a connection request, LinkedIn will ask how you know that person (including that you don’t know the person, which is common) and you can provide an optional note that the person will view along with your request. Many people leave the default language in the message window; however, we suggest you take advantage of this opportunity to introduce yourself. Checkout these template messages, or visit LACS for help crafting a professional networking introduction.

Top 8 Things to Avoid on LinkedIn

  1. Not updating your profile on a regular basis: Update your profile frequently to ensure employers are seeing the most up to date information.
  2. Having a generic headline: “Student at The University of Texas at Austin” may be what you’re doing, but it doesn’t define your skills and your areas of interest.
  3. Inconsistency: Make sure your application materials are consistent with your LinkedIn profile (example: in a cover letter you state you have long-term plans to stay with a company, but on your LinkedIn profile it reveals you are headed to graduate school in a year).
  4. Having an active profile but not taking the time to complete it: Take the time to fill out each section of your profile – it will pay off.
  5. Not bringing forth new information: Your profile allows you to break out of the confines of a resume and add a professional summary, showcase your work (presentations, websites, thesis abstract, etc.) and much, much more. Take advantage of this – employers like to see what you’ve been up to!
  6. Sending generic connection requests: Always customize connection requests – people are more likely to respond this way.
  7. Not double-checking for grammatical and spelling errors: Have your profile reviewed multiple times to ensure grammar and spelling is correct.
  8. Not responding to connection requests, messages and group messages in a timely manner: Make sure that you set a time each week (or multiple times a week) to check LinkedIn, respond to messages and tend to business. Don’t leave your connections hanging!

More on LinkedIn

Explore our Social Media page to learn how to use LinkedIn to get career insight from the 300,000+ Longhorn alumni on the platform, and to use LinkedIn for your job search.

  •   Map
  • Liberal Arts Career Services

    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 18
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508