LinkedIn Insights from a Career Counsellor

LinkedIn has emerged as a critical tool to help launch careers by connecting users with potential business partners and employers. On Thursday August 16th, The Science to Business Network partnered with Julia Blackstock to host a workshop focused on helping graduate students navigate and utilize their LinkedIn profiles effectively while job-searching. Julia is a Career Counsellor with career services at Queen’s University and she brought her extensive knowledge of LinkedIn along with her love for business and networking to provide an interactive session that was beneficial for all 45 attendees.

Julia Blackstock's LinkedIn Career event

Fun fact: Julia Blackstock first joined LinkedIn when there were no more than 30 000 users! Currently, there are almost 500 million!

Julia lead a 2-hour discussion focused on going beyond the profile basics and one theme became evident - customization. There are various areas of a profile that can be strategically utilized to attract employers of interest – and this is a great way to show interest in a particular field as well as your suitability as a candidate. For example:

  1. Having a headline that contains key words about your field of interest and your relevant goals within this field.

  2. Provide descriptions of relevant education that is complementary to the field of interest – mounting evidence of translational skills and suitability to be successful in your field of interest.

  3. Distinguishing experiences by providing an analysis of one’s role in that experience and what makes him/her unique and more suitable as compared to others that might hold that same role.

  4. Highlight skills and endorsements that demonstrate desired “pre-requisites” for a job in your preferred field (Ex: the skill of “personable” for someone who wants to go into sales).

Now, where should you start? Connecting with school alumni in the field of interest is a great first step, and LinkedIn provides the tools for you to easily search for individuals who have graduated from your University/College with that particular experience. Joining or following different groups, pages, and important individuals within your field can show potential employers your interests and it might give you an advantage by being up-to-date on current “hot topics”. Lastly, composing and posting an original article using LinkedIn Publishing will provide a great opportunity to reach out to others and show activity within that field of interest. Here are some tips on starting your first article:

There are many ways to optimize your profile to enhance your job search and allow you to be as competitive as possible. For more additional information that might give you that edge, visit:

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