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What Every Student SHOULD Build Into Their LinkedIn Profile.
More than 238 million professionals around the world in over 200 countries and territories agree with me. The growth of this platform is mind boggling.
When it first launched, LinkedIn was aimed at professionals with extensive work experience. Over the last year, they have added new profile components to help students build an online professional presence including the ability to list courses and extracurricular work.
Students are the fastest-growing demographic with over 30 million students and recent college graduates on the platform.
8 Tips to Build Your LinkedIn Profile:
1. Choose the Right Photo
Have a clean, crisp, and simple background and professional attire. Ensure you are solo in your photo and smiling. Don’t crop a photo from a party or social event (honesty I see this all the time!).
Don’t be afraid to dress up and ask a friend/roommate to take a photo. With today’s photo apps (i.e. instagram/photo app editing software) a smart phone photo can look amazing.
2. Have a Relevant Title
The title of Student at XXX University is just plain boring and useless in indicating your goal job.
Your title, photo and location are what show up in a search. Ensure you highlight what you are after.
4th Year Marketing Student Seeking a 4 Month Co-op (starting May 2014 in Vancouver)
3. Have a Strong Summary
Highlight who you are & who you want to be. Ensure it is keyword rich, concise, & specific.
Summary: I am in my 4th year of my Business degree at the Sprott School of Business (Carleton) with a focus in marketing and a minor in business administration.
Experience includes market research, experiential marketing, event planning and project management for the marketing club on campus. Additionally, I demonstrated application of marketing concepts as a summer marketing coordinator at Mosaic Experiential Marketing.
I enjoy working with innovative brands, working in a team, and am very detail orientated.
Specialties: Marketing, customer relations, direct marketing, commerce, human resources, market research, marketing, organizational skills, communication skills, promotional materials.
Skills: Microsoft Office, Illustrator
LinkedIn does not have a built in spell check.
Write your summary and job descriptions in word; then copy and paste. I also recommend writing your summary and work experience descriptions in short paragraphs. Bullet points do not format well and look untidy.
4. Include Coursework and Extracurricular Activities
Think of your profile as telling the story of what got you to today.
It should combine your academic/technical skills and your interpersonal abilities. Showcase relevant coursework, clubs and organizations in which you have participated in school. Highlight responsibilities and accomplishments from leadership roles in student clubs and any co-ops or internships.
You can now visually show off any projects or accomplishments. Tips here via Mashable. Be thoughtful in what you post and ensure you aren’t breaking confidentiality of client or company projects.
Update and edit your LinkedIn profile on an annual basis to showcase new skills and edit out information or experience that is no longer relevant.
As you build out more experience, you can decrease your academic and extracurricular experience and increase your work experience. Edit your profile after every co-op/internship or summer job.
5. Ask for Recommendations
Write personalized requests to ask for and shape the recommendation. Identify skills for endorsement.
78% of people trust peer recommendations.
Ask university professors, fellow volunteers in your extra-curricular activities, or classmates from group projects to recommend you. Use these contacts to highlight skills like problem solving, initiative, team work and communication skills.
You can hide recommendations as you gain more experience.
Ensure you ask your manager to recommend you on LinkedIn at the end of any co-op or internships.
6. Create Connections
Create professional connections; write personalized requests & network with your contacts.
Read my 5 tips to maximize LinkedIn requests HERE for more tips.
7. Extend LinkedIn’s Reach
Feature your LinkedIn URL on your resume and add it to your email signature.
Watch this simple YouTube video to create a vanity LinkedIn URL.
8. Follow Companies & Join Groups
With the new “follow” button available for companies, you can fill your news feed with industry relevant information. Additionally, you will see current job postings on the companies you hope to join.
Also join groups to build your knowledge of industries and network with professionals. This is a great resource as ideas for small talk during interviews or recruiting events.
Get Started in Discussions with Me!
I run a group of over 2,500 professionals and students discussing campus recruiting & social media questions and best practices. Get your feet wet here by joining the conversation HERE.
Let Talent Formula Help You:
Talent Formula has spoken at Universities across Canada educating student’s on auditing their online presence and how to build a LinkedIn Profile. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or HERE if you are interested in educating your students on these important skills.
Additionally, Talent Formula expert’s complete social media audits aimed at helping you build your social media presence in the right way. Contact us today for help in your job search and taking control of your online presence!