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Using LinkedIn When Applying to MBA Programs

For any business professional, networking is a necessary path to building connections. Now, virtual networking through online networks like LinkedIn have proven to be just as important as in-person networking.

Making Yourself More Personable

Sharon Joyce is a director at MBA admissions coaching firm Fortuna Admissions and former Berkeley Haas associate director of admissions. In a Poets & Quants article, Joyce says MBA applicants should ensure that their LinkedIn profile reflects their MBA application.

“Look to amplify your LinkedIn profile as part of your business school application process,” she writes. “And as you do, consider your key audiences, which are now MBA admissions and alumni, as well as students and faculty of your target programs.”

More than simply a resume, LinkedIn offers MBA students the opportunity to illustrate a more personable image of themselves.

Libby Graves is an executive coach who works with McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. In a Financial Times article, Graves says LinkedIn can help differentiate candidates from one another.

“The LinkedIn profile gives you an opportunity to go beyond that historical, chronological event-based resume and say more about who you are, what you do and why you do what you do,” Graves tells Financial Times.

Networking, Connecting, and Publishing

In addition to reflecting your application, LinkedIn can also help you connect with target schools and alumni.

“Take it a step further by following the people or groups leading conversations in arenas you’re passionate about, such as artificial intelligence, renewable energy or social innovation,” Joyce writes. “If you can demonstrate you’re a subject matter expert engaged in the issues, it can help to differentiate you from others with a static profile.”

Following topics and discussing issues you’re passionate about can demonstrate initiative to admissions committees. Derek Pando is an MBA graduate who gives professional advice on his personal blog, Tech Waffles. In a Financial Times article, Pando says MBA students can differentiate themselves by publishing content on LinkedIn that they are passionate about.

“Whether that’s publishing long-form content on LinkedIn, sharing a blog post they wrote or just giving their commentary on things that are happening,” he tells Financial Times.
Like anything regarding social media, it’s wise to exercise good judgment. If used right, LinkedIn can serve as a powerful tool in differentiating yourself to admissions committees.

Sources: Poets & Quants, Financial Times