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Although a significant need exists for college students to market their job skills effectively to potential employers, no prior research systematically analyzed the quality of information included in college students’ LinkedIn profiles. This study used a marketing framework to evaluate the effectiveness of information in LinkedIn profiles posted by current and former community college students. The mixed method study analyzed 340 publicly available LinkedIn profiles for students who reported attending 89 community colleges in the United States. The results suggest many college students may not understand how to use a LinkedIn profile to market their skills to potential employers. Key sections were often left blank and profiles failed to communicate students’ unique value proposition. Content analysis revealed 75% of profiles contained an experience section with poor to below average descriptions. Comparative analysis found profiles for unemployed individuals and those seeking a new position were significantly worse than profiles for their employed counterparts. Additionally, LinkedIn profiles for students from large community colleges had significantly more writing errors than profiles for students attending medium-size community colleges. After discussing implications of the research, recommendations based on the study’s results are suggested for career service staff, educators, and students.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Community College Journal of Research and Practice on 2 May 2021, available at:

Published article citation:

Daniels, R. A., Pemble, S., Allen, D., & Miller, L. A. (2021). LinkedIn blunders: A mixed method study of college students' profiles. Community College Journal of Research and Practice.