LINKEDIN 101 FOR STUDENTS: HOW TO ACE THE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM FOR JOB SEEKERS LIKE A PRO
This is one of those things that we need the instant we get out of school, but no one ever really teaches us. To make sure you have exactly what you need for future job hunts, we've prepared some pointers to vamp up your LinkedIn profile.
You might be wondering, why do I need to work on my LinkedIn profile now when I’m still in school, and not looking for a job?
The answer, dear student, is that the working force is growing more competitive by the year, and employers are doing all types of extensive research to get to know candidates applying for their available roles. So it’s best to build your credibility and professional reputation as early as you can, in order to form a network that could eventually land you that dream job at your dream company.
And like any social media platform, the more information you have and the more content you share, the easier it is for interested parties to learn more about you. Think of it as when you meet a cute guy or girl and you want to know all about them so you look them up online. How disappointed would you be if you find their profile, and there’s nothing there?
So take note of these tips and tricks shared by Best Colleges that could get your LinkedIn profile as organized and put-together as your other social media personas:
USE A PROFESSIONAL PHOTO
We’re all guilty of taking a little too long to decide which photo out of hundreds we’ll choose as our next profile photo on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter—and the same should go for something that possible employers would see. Go for something natural, and definitely not one with a peace sign or your iconic duck face out. Make sure you look well put together, and someone people would actually want to work with.
Tip: Fresh grads can use their graduation photo to highlight that they’re fresh out of university, and looking for a job opportunity.
WRITE AN ENGAGING SUMMARY
The LinkedIn summary works a bit like a general cover letter that provides employers a deeper look into who you are as a person, what your skills are, and what you’re looking for. You have 2,000 characters to let them know of certain achievements you want to highlight, what skills you’ve developed in school, any organizations that you’ve led, and what field of work you’re interested to explore, to name a few important things. Write in first person, and remember to prioritize substance over style (although that would be a good way to hook their interest as well, if you can pull it off).
DETAILS ARE KEY IN THE ‘EXPERIENCES’ AND ‘EDUCATION’ SECTIONS
Your LinkedIn profile has the same information you would generally put on your resume or CV, so it’s no surprise that the platform will ask you to identify your educational background, and any relevant experiences on your profile. As a student, perhaps your only track record is within your school’s curriculum—which is perfectly normal, don’t worry—so make sure to provide as much detail as you can about the classes you’ve enrolled in, the skills you’ve honed, and any organizations you’ve joined. This will allow employers to see if you have the foundational knowledge for the role, or to figure out how much training you would need.
Tip: Use specific keywords that are relevant to your industry.
LIST YOUR SKILLS
Go through your curriculum again and identify what specific skills you’ve learned and developed during your time in university. It’s reflective of your ‘education’ section, but packaged in a more visual way that provides the needed information in just one look. This isn’t exclusive to hard skills like UX design, financing, copywriting, etc. You can also include presentation skills, team work skills, and other capabilities that you might have picked up outside the class room.
Tip: Check out the usual skills highlighted in job openings to see what specific ones employers are looking for in your field.
ENCOURAGE ENDORSEMENTS AMONG YOUR FRIENDS
Endorsements are tied to the skill section, in a way that other people can “endorse” certain skills to confirm that you have them. This is a good way for employers to see how other people look at you and what you bring to the table, especially as it generally has more value when others talk about how good you are at presenting, writing, designing, and the like. The more people endorse certain skills, the stronger it would look on your profile. So gather your friends and endorse each other’s skills so all of you could be noticed by potential employers.
Tip: Rearrange your skills according to the number of endorsements so the most backed up skills can be on top of the list, and easily identifiable.