The Basics of LinkedIn For Your Accounting Career

sample-podcas-600x300-4 2

LinkedIn Accounting Basics

LinkedIn Contacts

Reach out to recruiters and company representatives on LinkedIn the evening after you meet them at a career fair or other event. It’s the perfect time. Sometimes LinkedIn requires that you enter the person’s email. What do you happen to have? His or her business card (which you should have asked for)! I want to spend some time briefly discussing how to have a killer LinkedIn page before you start connecting with these individuals.


Have a professional photo and yes, have a photo. If you’re in university, or if you happen to live on planet earth, one of your friends is a photographer. Scrape up some extra cash and pay them $20 or $30 for a nice headshot.

When I was working at PwC, this was the head shot title of my Linked-In profile:

AA Linked IN

Make your headline relevant but don’t scare people away. Many people want to have a headline that shows they’re ambitious, like “Aspiring CPA Candidate.” I would recommend staying away from these type of titles. Stick to something that is tangible, that requires actual work and has an actual title such as “President of Delta Sigma Pi,” “Accounting Intern at Verizon,” or “Accounting Tutor at XYZ University.” You may think, I don’t have any leadership activities or internships I am involved in. Well then get some! You can even offer to go over to the university and be a volunteer in the accounting department and work for free for five hours a week. Get the experience and build up your resume and LinkedIn page.


My personal advice, which is not what everyone will tell you, is to keep everything SIMPLE. Less is more. I am always taking things off of my LinkedIn page. Don’t let other users get distracted by your college friends recommending your skills as a committee chair for your sorority.  As a general rule, never have more than five positions and make sure the timeline make sense. Just because you worked three jobs at once in University doesn’t mean you have to list them all. Pick the relevant experience you’ve had that shows you’re qualified and keep it clean.


It is imperative that you do what you can to make it over 500+ connections. While it won’t be counted against you if you don’t, it will be a positive if you do. It shows you’re someone who is involved, you’re connected to the professional community, and you care about your future. While I think you should go on a rampage and connect with as many people as possible, I have one piece of crucial advice: DO NOT connect with people you don’t know IF they are working full-time at companies to which you are applying or may want to work. Older people don’t always understand the internet. If you’ve never met them, they are often times “creeped out” by unknown requests and think it’s inappropriate or weird. While we may not care, let’s not give them something to be tripped up about. I am totally for friending people you don’t know, just make sure it’s someone who doesn’t hold your career in his or her hands, like the cute guy in your economics class. In all seriousness, target current University students, family members, co-workers, and friends to get over that 500+ limit. Try to stay away from professionals you don’t know.

Skills and Expertise

LinkedIn now allows you to add skills and expertise to your page and lets other people vouch for you. I think it’s a great idea and something that can really help you in your job search. However, my unwavering advice is to limit the number of skills you have to very few, three to five max. You will have the opportunity to add more as your friends endorse you for things like Finance or, as one of my friends did, “skeet shooting.” The problem with adding 10+ skills is that they become diminished. You want a few key words that define your value and get a lot of people to hit “endorse.”


In the theme of keeping it simple, I recommend people hide all the groups to which they belong. I think you should join all the groups in the world that you’re interested in; however, don’t show 37 groups on your profile. It’s messy and it doesn’t matter which groups you’ve joined on LinkedIn. Companies want to know what you’ve done, where you went to university, whether you have licenses/certifications, who you’re connected with, and who has recommended you. Keep it simple, hide groups, and hide the companies you’re following.

Friending people outside of your network

Many times I find myself wanting to friend someone and LinkedIn won’t allow it.  A quick tip to get your request out there is to use the mobile application. LinkedIn has lower requirements to friend people there, so search for the same person and hit connect!

Looking at other people’s pages without them knowing

LinkedIn has that awesome feature that allows you to see who has creeped on your page. If you want to take a look at someone’s page and don’t want them to know, there is a quick trick. Log out of your account and do a Google search on them. You will be able to see limited content on the person’s page and he or she won’t know you looked at all!


Email me at