Build your LinkedIn profile before applying to MBA programs

LinkedIn has evolved into a critical component of the MBA application process. Whether or not colleges ask you to include a link to your LinkedIn page, there’s a good possibility that someone will look at it at some point throughout the application review process (and your other social media profiles as well). When given the opportunity, we strongly encourage you to keep your Linkedin profile up to date with your most relevant professional, academic, and personal standpoint. This is your chance to create an excellent first impression.

There are five key sections in your LinkedIn profile that you must fill at the very least to be competitive as an MBA candidate: 1) The headline; 2) The Summary; 3) The Experience; 4) The Education; and 5) The Volunteer Experience. Continue reading to find out what to focus on in each of these categories, as well as how to use LinkedIn’s valuable features.

Headline (first section)

When you appear in someone’s search, the headline is the description that appears beneath your name. You have 120 characters to explain who you are here, and if you leave it blank, the area will be filled with your current professional title and business.

Use this section to offer a more complete image of yourself if you are involved in non-professional activities. It makes sense to attempt to incorporate both components in the headline if you’re an analyst at an investment bank and also created and run a non-profit organization on top of your full-time job.

Summary (second section)

You have 2000 characters to provide a complete image of yourself, including your personality, hobbies, accomplishments, passions, and even goals. We recommend beginning with your present job and most recent successes in the first paragraph, and then moving on to information about your character, outside hobbies, and other major achievements in subsequent paragraphs. This part, similar to the Qualifications Summary on a traditional resume, allows you to emphasize the most remarkable aspects of your past for the reader. Some of this information may be included in your application as well, but here is a wonderful opportunity to distill it and show it prominently. For instance, “Research Analyst Intern at KPMG and Founder of XYZ NGO.” Including both in the headline will automatically help you distinguish yourself from the other analysts competing with you.

Experience (third section)

LinkedIn allows you to mention each job you’ve held inside a firm individually, but in my opinion, you should anticipate that readers won’t go very far through such a long profile. I propose simply mentioning your most recent role at each business and then utilizing the 2000-character position summary to highlight any promotions you’ve received and the effect you’ve had across the organization.

In contrast to a typical resume, LinkedIn takes a different approach to the Experience section: Instead of writing typical impact-focused bullet points as you would in a resume, LinkedIn recommends that you convey your narrative in paragraph form by answering the following questions:

· What was the business climate like back then?

· What difficulties did your firm or your group face?

· What exactly did you do?

The reader will remember your successes much more if you provide context for them. Then, either continue in prose or move to bullet points to communicate your effect.

One word of caution: LinkedIn is a public platform; don’t disclose any sensitive information or anything that could irritate a co-worker.

Education (fourth section)

Your academic achievements and on-campus involvement are essential since you are applying to graduate school. If you were engaged on campus in the past and had excellent grades, you are likely to do so again in the following part of your study. As a result, we strongly advise you to use the space in LinkedIn’s Education section to highlight your campus activities and leadership positions, as well as any outstanding academic achievement and medals or honors you may have received.

Volunteer Experience (fifth section)

Finally, LinkedIn has space for Volunteer Experience. If you’re applying to an MBA program that doesn’t have much room in its online application to discuss extracurricular activities (like MIT Sloan’s MBA application), the chance to highlight these non-professional responsibilities and successes here is a valuable opportunity. If you are actively participating in a volunteer project or social endeavor, you can describe it here and in your Summary. If members of the admissions committee or your interviewer search you up, they’ll see exactly what you want them to know right away.

“LinkedIn : Don’t use it to impress people, use it to IMPACT people”

Our consultants at CrackAdmission are just an email away from helping you craft a holistic Linkedin profile.

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