Friday, August 25, 2017

What would you include in a B.S. chemist LinkedIn profile?

Via Twitter, a good question from Holly Gaede: 
Can anyone suggest professional resources for how to create a LinkedIn profile? I'd like to share with my undergrads. 
I'm not sure about any professional resources, but I think a good LinkedIn profile (especially at the B.S. chemist level) would have:
  • A decent headshot (insert qualms about photos here) 
  • A good tagline ("B.S. chemistry graduate with 1 year synthetic organic chemistry experience") 
  • A good summary of undergraduate research experience
  • Publications/posters, if any
  • Summary of your education
That's really a pretty basic LinkedIn profile, and something that would take about 1-2 hours worth of work, assuming that you didn't already have your own resume to plop into your profile. 

Readers, that's a really facile approach to a LinkedIn profile - what would you recommend to an undergraduate chemistry major for their profile? 

(A couple of small notes: Yes, LinkedIn is mostly a crappy website. It's a 24-hour resume, and a rolodex that never forgets. The rest of it is like the Internet - overrun with spam and not very useful, with the exception of a few gems. Also, I think the likelihood of a LinkedIn profile being useful to a new B.S. chemist is not particularly high, but I would not discourage the investment of a couple of hours of thought and work on it.) 


  1. Does anyone outside sales and IT even use Linkedin?

    1. CRO biologist here... I use it routinely. I spend a lot of time talking to new people, and trying to figure out how to best communicate with them. That gets *much* easier if I know their background, which LinkedIn can often tell me.

      Same thing holds true for job interviews: for me, it's almost completely replaced PubMed for background research on the people I'll talk to when I go on an interview. It's especially useful for interviewers who would show up in PubMed as "J. Smith" or "S. Patel" or "X. Chen"--LinkedIn will let me identify the S. Patel who works at Company X doing Discipline Y.

      All of this assumes people have set up a profile, of course.

    2. Does anyone outside sales and IT even use Linkedin?

      Yep, I use it to check up on contacts and folks I meet to see what they do and where.

  2. Surely your university careers service will have resources. Mine did an hour-long workshop at least 2-3 times a year. Occasionally they'd pick a student/staff member with a good profile to use as an example ^__^

    I think LinkedIn is more important for looking at other people than having your own profile. But if you want to look at other people properly, you need your own profile, and it has to be good.

  3. Removed by mistake

    On photos: You need them. I help manager one of the science groups on LinkedIn and we don't accept members without them. Personally I don't accept contract either. No photo and no contracts normally indicates a fraudulent account.

    1. I'm still a holdout on not including a photo. The harder it is for someone to tie my LinkedIn to my Facebook, the better.

  4. Had a couple of recruiters ping me from there.