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LUNCH AND LEARN: How to use LinkedIn for professional development

Date: 16th August, 2017.

Invited Speaker: Amy Gleason, Program Manager and Career Coach from University of Utah Alumni Career Services

Amy Gleason started her talk with an overview of Career and Professional Development Center running at the University of Utah.

  • Career services, which are primarily for the alumni, are also available for non-alumni.
  • Anyone who is not an alumni can register with them to access several free services such as webinar series, e-newsletter, job clubs, etc. The information can be found in their website.
  • They organize a weekly job club that focuses on professional networking, and task-based activities. On it, you can discuss how to prepare yourself for networking & interviews, how to explain ‘what do I do, what I’m best at and what I’m looking for’. In order to access these career services features, you need to send an email to Amy Gleason and ask to be added to the email list. Participating in their job club can give you access to job boards and recruiters.
  • In the career services webpage you can also find information about upcoming career fairs (
  • When interested in finding jobs on/off campus it is useful to became a alumni ($50/year) and work with career services, as they have job boards to search for jobs on and off campus.
  • If you are looking for a job within the university know that at the University of Utah Human Resources (HR) is two pronged – Health Services HR & Campus HR. However, a list of jobs for both sections of the University can be found here. Campus HR is overlooked by Greg Hughes who is a senior recruiter. Connect with him on LinkedIn to access job offers posted through HR.

Amy shared her experience of directly interacting with a LinkedIn representative on campus and highlighted what recruiters look for. Following points were discussed:

  • To create your LinkedIn profile use the Job Search checklist handout – a step-by-step guide to create and setup your profile. Take time to go through every tab.
  • A LinkedIn profile has 2 primary functions
    • It helps you create a personal brand for marketing / promoting yourself.
    • It lets you search for job opportunities and create connections.
  • Difference between CV & resum Most importantly, CVs are descriptive whereas resumes are brief and to the point (within 2 pages). Resumes need to be tailored to the job that you are applying for, showing how you fit with the position.
  • In LinkedIn recruiters look through resumes using several filters such as keywords, university, experience, who is following the company etc.
  • It is very important to keep an updated headline and professional summary with the keywords on LinkedIn – especially when you’re searching for jobs.
  • Create a personalized LindedIn URL and use it in the header of the resum
  • Profile photo (with a smileJ) is a MUST. It reflects the personal side of your professional side. If you need some guidance on how a LinkedIn profile photo should look like, look at how hiring managers’ / your peers’ profile photo look like.
  • Connections are good resources, but having too many can hurt. Approximately, 500 connections are good, having more is ok as long as you know the connections.
  • While making connection it is always advisable to send a personalized invitation. If you are connection with people you do not know, send them a note about yourself (can use InMail – only for premium members) with an introduction and the purpose of connecting with that person. You can always say things like, I’m interested in company profile/position, you can ask to get referred to the right person for an advertised position.
  • On the job tab on LinkedIn, you can manage alerts for job searches using keywords (for job titles, job functions, locations etc). If you’re looking for jobs, let recruiters know you’re open. Try to connect with people who might be common among your connections or whom you might know for job positions. If you don’t know anyone, try using the InMail. These are some important aspects of informational interview (cases where you don’t know anyone in the company, but you can connect with a person who can become a mentor in your application).
  • While not searching for jobs, it is still good to keep an updated LinkedIn that could influence in making meaningful connections.
  • A Premium membership have advantages like more access while viewing unknown profiles. When you’re applying for a position, a premium membership gives you an idea how many applications have been submitted for the position through LinkedIn, where are you in the application process. You can always take advantage of the 1 month free trial, later can cancel subscription.
  • Another important aspect of a LinkedIn profile is the recommendations sections. You can ask for recommendations from managers, customers, coworkers. Also, it is advisable to recommend others. It not only highlights your recommendation about the concerned person, but also makes you more visible to people who are visiting profiles of the person for whom you recommended.
  • It is also noteworthy to show interest for the companies you want to work for. You can do that by following those companies that will give access to the company’s employees, job postings, updates in feeds. You can like and comment on company updates / discussions, which will make your profile more visible. Additionally, some recruiters look at profiles of people who are following the company.
  • Keep your profile as active as possible. Keep updating your info, even if there are small advancements in your career. Keep posting or discussing news/updates related to your work or the work you’re interested in. You can join professional groups associated with what you’re interested in (like blogs).

A very quick discussion on

  • co is tool that lets you analyze how well your resume is tailored for a particular job, and how it can be optimized for an applicant tracking system.
  • An applicant tracking systems (ATS) is a type of software that organization use to scan through resumes and pre-select candidates that will end up on the hiring manager’s desk. In order to pass that step, you need to have keywords in your résumé matching with the job description and job title.
  • co has a feature where you copy paste your CV/resume and the job description. This will show hits with keywords similar to what ATS (application tracking system) will do. You can also make your resume visible to several recruiters.
  • co has other services that depend on you access level, from free to a monthly fee.

Additional documents:

Linked In and Resume Checklists

Linked IN Checklist

Last Updated: 9/25/23