linkedin etiquette

Requesting Connections

    • Customize the message sent
    • You’ll get a better response rate if you write a brief, personalized, polite note reminding them how you met (if necessary) and explaining why you’re interested in connecting -
      e.g., to ask for advice or to keep in touch after meeting at a conference.

Asking for Recommendations

    • Only request from people who really know you and your work -
      e.g. former bosses or professors.
    • Customize each request with a polite and personalized note, Provide a few words outlining qualities or accomplishments this person might mention about you
    • And, of course, always thank the person for writing the recommendation

No response from request or message

    • If you haven’t heard from a potential connection in over a month, send an email to say that you’ve reached out and would like to connect
    • If that doesn’t work, it’s best to move on

Professional LinkedIn Profile

    • Post a professional photo
    • Be totally truthful
    • Write your experiences like you would on a resume or cover letter

Maximize LinkedIn in your job search


LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 225 million members in over 200 countries and territories.  Individuals and companies use LinkedIn for networking, job searching, hiring, company research, and connecting with affiliates, including alumni, industry, and a variety of other business related groups.

Additionally, there are over 30 million students and recent college graduates currently on LinkedIn.  Making that demographic LinkedIn's fastest-growing demographic.  So, if you're not already on LinkedIn, you definitely need to be!  Basically, it's a site that allows you to connect to people you know.  It also allows you to see profiles of anyone else on LinkedIn, and gives you ways to connect to them. 

Benefits for Students and Alumni

  • Build a professional online presence
  • Connect in a meaningful way with alumni and other contacts already in your network
  • Research companies and industries
  • Explore opportunities with organizations that don’t recruit on campus
  • Learn professional networking etiquette

Steps to Building a Great Profile

Craft an informative profile headline.

  • Many use their job title and company and/or highlight key skills:
  • e.g. Skilled Event Planner with experience in planning, scheduling and coordinating even

Pick an appropriate photo.

  • Use a head shot, professional looking picture of only you
Show off your education
  • Include your major and minor if you have one, as well as highlights of your activities.
  • Don’t forget study abroad programs and summer institutes.
Share your experiences
  • Keep your network informed
  • List current and past positions and include roles and responsibilities of positions

Develop a professional summary

  • Use key words that will pop up in searches
  • Emphasize unique skills:
  • What makes you special?
Show your connectedness with badges
  • Join Groups and display the group badges on your profile
  • Start by joining UNCW LinkedIn groups as well as the larger industry groups related to the career you want to pursue
Collect diverse recommendations
  • Recommendations can come from many sources:
  • e.g. professors, internship coordinators, employers, and professional mentors
Claim your unique LinkedIn URL
  • Set your LinkedIn profile to “public” and claim a unique URL for your profile
  • To claim a unique URL go to Settings > Edit Public Profile > Customize Public URL

LinkedInJob Search Tips

  • Reach Out: Connect on LinkedIn with everyone you know (friends, family, neighbors, professors, family friends, internship colleagues and others)
  • Follow Companies: When you see a job you like on another job board, use LinkedIn as a company research tool
  • Use the LinkedIn Student Jobs Portal: Access entry-level jobs and internships at some of the best companies worldwide at the student and recent grad job portal.
  • You’re More Experienced than you think: The more info you provide, the more people will connect with you. Think broadly about your experience:
    • Include summer jobs, unpaid/paid internships, volunteer work, and student organizations

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