LinkedIn 101

Last week the Portfolio Center hosted our very first LinkedIn session.  We have always talked about its importance here at the Portfolio Center, but last Friday was the inaugural effort to truly begin talking about LinkedIn in the context of Columbia College Chicago.  Here are the bullet points of what we addressed…

There are 2 ways to think about LinkedIn.  You can embrace both ways of thinking, but ultimately LinkedIn can be:

  • Your online resume
  • A robust career networking tool

If we were to focus on LinkedIn as only your “online resume” then there is tremendous value in this sole purpose.

Brand Yourself, released this infographic a month ago, which is pretty illuminating for our discussions of improving and enhancing your web presence.  Take note of these statements from the graphic:

  • 1 billion names are searched every day
  • Only half will “own” their first result (meaning it is the person the search was intended for)
  • Only 2% will “own” their entire first page of a Google search
  • 1 in 4 have no positive content at all
  • 15% will have at least one negative result that will damage their reputation
  • On average LinkedIn will appear in the top 5 results

The moral of these tidbits are that LinkedIn is a very important component of how quickly you turn up when searched and what a viewer will find.

Thus, if for no other reason there is a reason for you to be on LinkedIn.

However, it can do more.  We addressed that on Friday and will continue to do so in future sessions and posts.  Please stay tuned.

For now, here is what is recommend for any of you that have yet to create a LinkedIn profile or feel that you have an empty or incomplete profile.

  1. Go to and register an account.
  2. Take a look at this video series for tips.
  3. Make sure you:
    1. Create a headline that represents what you do.
    2. Use an appropriate photo.  I.E….
      1. You as you’d dress for work in your industry
      2. Shoulders up.  Even if you look great in a swimsuit.  This is the deal.
      3. Just you.  Not a cropped photo with other people’s parts in the photo.
    3. For experience, highlight your education (you can build in sections for courses, honors and awards, projects, etc.).  You do stuff.  We know it.
    4. Develop a summary statement that highlights your skills
    5. Update your profile as you continue to gain experience
  4. Use the Portfolio Center for a review of your profile by scheduling an appointment.  We can be reached at 312.369.7280 or at