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Career Services at the University of Zurich

CEP Phase 3: Digital profiles on LinkedIn, Xing and


In the previous phase, you probably learned a lot about yourself. Have you updated your CV accordingly? Your CV is "work-in-progress", you will constantly gain new insights that you can include in your CV.

Today we are having a closer look at networking and researching the job market.

We would like to introduce you to social platforms such as LinkedIn and XING, but also show you the tool "Informational Interview", which allows you to build a network and use it to identify career opportunities.

Before we get started, first of all this: Did you know that you can also upload your CV on our platform and let employers find you? To get the maximum benefit from this feature, you need to follow these steps:

Your profile

  • Fill in your details in such a way that they are informative for employers.
  • Indicate the industries and functions that you are interested in. Use the maximum amount of information you can provide. Employers will search for the terms they think are relevant.
  • Upload your current CV, which employers can download. The online profile offers only limited possibilities for design, your CV offers more freedom and space.

Your approvals

If you are looking for a job, share your profile. We recommend that you do this 9 to 12 months before graduation. You will get better information when your profile is unlocked. And as we know, the job search takes a certain amount of time.

You can still reject requests and offers if they are made too early or if they are not suitable for you. And: employers must comply with the strict UZH data protection agreements.

Do you have questions about your profile on Contact us!

A few words about LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the world's largest professional networking platform that digitally maps the job market:

  • 660 million members
  • 30 million companies
  • 20 million jobs

And what can LinkedIn offer you as a student?

  • It connects you with the professional world.
  • It informs you with news from various industries.
  • It gives you the opportunity to make yourself visible.

In short: It supports you in your first job and your further career.

How to set up a LinkedIn profile

No matter if you're new to LinkedIn or familiar with the platform to a certain extent, here are the most important things you need to keep in mind when setting up/editing your own profile. Depending on the field of study or industry you're interested in, you can create a profile in English or in German.

- Photo and background: These two pictures are the first impressions others get of you. Choose a professional photo of yourself (in good resolution) and a meaningful background picture that fits you, your skills and interests.

- Headline (below your name): These are the first lines others read about you, your positioning yourself. Mention here your field of study, your interests, your university (e.g. Biomedicine student, 3rd semester, University of Zurich).

- About: This is the most important section in your profile. Here you can list your competencies and interests, as well as tell your story. The best way to do this is to write from your perspective. This may take some time. Think about what you would like to tell to underline your personality, your values, your successes and your ambitions. To avoid writer's block, you can create the first version and revise it again after completing the Career Empowerment Program. Or contact us if you would like to have some feedback.

- Featured: Do you have a successful seminar paper, the slides of a presentation or an article about yourself with which you can illustrate the profile you created above even more clearly? In this section, you can insert these documents, pictures or links.

- Experience: List your work experience and internships, even if they were at short notice (holiday jobs). This could also be an assignment in a family business, running a campaign or your activities in a student organisation. Describe in a few bullet points what you have done and achieved.

- Education: List here your Bachelor, Master, PhD etc., with major and minor subjects, incl. semester abroad, special courses/modules you would like to mention because they might be relevant for your first job.

- Volunteer Experience: List here the organisations and functions of your volunteer work, e.g. professional association, neighbourhood help, scouts and sports club, even if you have already given details under Professional Experience.

- Skills and Endorsements: In this section, people who know you can tell the world what you are good at. List these skills, it can be a programming language, social media, project management and much more.

- Recommendations: Have you worked in a team with someone? In an internship, a project or in volunteer work? Ask this person to say a few sentences about you and write a recommendation for you. This is a very good way to let others - especially potential recruiters - know what you can do.

After you have created your profile, check your privacy settings. If you are looking for a job you should take a close look at the "Job search settings".

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And what about XING?

XING is a German-speaking professional network that focuses primarily on the DACH region. Of the 17 million members (as of 2020), around 15 million are from Germany and over one million each from Switzerland and Austria.

We are often asked on which platform one should now create a profile. We answer this question by asking two counter questions:

1. Will your networks be important for your career?

If so, then create and maintain profiles and networks on all suitable platforms. You never know on which platform the contacts you are interested in are. Once you have created your profiles, it will take less time to maintain them than it does to create a story on Instagram.

2. Do you know who owns LinkedIn and Xing? Do you think there will be changes in the ownership and functionality of the professional platforms during your career?

If you answer "yes" to these questions, it would be a good idea to maintain multiple profiles. If a platform no longer exists - who remembers Myspace, studiVZ or Google+? - it is not the setup of the profile that takes time, but the rebuilding of the network.

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No matter if Linkedin or XING:

If you decide to use professional social media platforms, keep the following in mind: A poorly maintained profile on Xing or LinkedIn is even worse than none at all!

And remember: always connect with a message/note to the recipient! This increases the chance that your request will be accepted and is part of the customs of digital networking.

End of Phase 3

So, that's it for today on the topic of digital platforms and networks. We will show you further ways to contact employers and maintain your network in Phase 6 in the section "Informational Interview".

If you like, you can now send us your thoughts for feedback or contact us with open questions about LinkedIn/XING.

If you send us the links to your online profiles, we will also give you a short feedback!

Have fun in setting up your profile on LinkedIn and/or XING!

Your UZH Career Services

Weiterführende Informationen

Call to action

Call to action

Connect with us on LinkedIn. And ask us directly if you want feedback on your profile.

Further information

Further information

Further considerations on the importance of networking can be found in our career planning guide.