Digital Scholarship @ Leiden

Best Practices for LinkedIn Academics

Best Practices for LinkedIn Academics

Best practices posts for LinkedIn are easily found, because it's such a ubiquitous network for people looking for a job. Yet only a fraction of those focus on what academics should include on their LinkedIn profile. But while there is a lot of overlap between creating a resume and an academic CV, there are also some questions that will be unique to academics (such as do I add my entire list of publications, do I add altmetrics, do I list all classes I ever taught etc.). In this post I try to cover both more general points and some specifically academic elements.

General wisdom

If you Google best practices LinkedIn you get a ton of results, but these four are the ones that are included in every post.

  • Have a professional and current profile picture. Here are some examples of how not to do it. 
  • Keep your profile up to date. Review it regularly and add newly acquired skills, projects or publications.
  • Create a good headline, as it is the first thing people will see in addition to your name and profile pic. And in the same vein, create a summary so people can learn more about who you are and what you do. 
  • Remember your privacy settings. In your settings you can chose whether people will be able to see that you've visited their profile, though disabling it also means you can't see who has viewed your profile. You might want to disable the notifications of changes to your profile as well.  This will prevent people from seeing each and every change you make to your profile in their updates feed.

Academic specific

Impact Story has a great article on supercharging your LinkedIn profile in which they advise you to only highlight your best work and papers, to mention the awards, grants and honours you've received clearly, and to be sure to add the Altmetric score for your papers. They also have a follow up post on what to do with your LinkedIn profile once you've spiffed it up. One thing to keep in mind is that LinkedIn's function will be very different for recent graduates, early career academics, and senior faculty, especially for the latter as starting on the tenure track generally means a long-term commitment. The Serial Mentor has an interesting take on different approaches for early career and senior faculty.

LinkedIn Leiden

For Leiden academics, students and recent graduates there are several resources on perfecting your LinkedIn profile. On the website you can find a pdf (only available in Dutch) on how to set up a great LinkedIn profile and you can find contact details for your faculty's social media person who can answer any questions you have. Additionally, Student Career Services are running workshops on how to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile in the spring. You can find more information on the sessions on the website in Dutch and in English. And of course there are the numerous LinkedIn Groups associated with Leiden University and the university's own LinkedIn page. (note: you'll need to be logged in to follow the last three links.)

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