Why wait to graduate when you can start building up a catalogue of experience and contacts early? As most of us are aware by now, LinkedIn is a great way to network and showcase skills and experience –even at the start of your career.
In a world that’s increasingly online, having a LinkedIn presence could make the difference when it comes to landing a dream job. Depending on the industry, most employers do social media and online searches of the candidate’s name to determine if a person is appropriate.
How to make a good student profile
The personal profile is basically an extended and detailed resume that includes skills, work experience and references. It can be hard for a student to make a detail-rich profile when they have minimal experience or qualifications, but there are certain tweaks that can help a profile stand out:
- Put effort into the finer details and fill out all of the sections if possible.
- Get a profile picture by a professional, or at least take a photo specifically for the profile (rather than cropping out an existing photo).
- Give some thought into to the headline/summary and experience sections. This doesn’t have to be strictly employment – any volunteering or relevant skills can fit in here.
- Try and add at least one recommendation on the profile.
- Remain professional and inviting, while giving as much detail on the profile as possible.
How Students can effectively use LinkedIn
The home tab allows the user to make ‘connections’ with others (similar to friends on Facebook) – their posts will come up on the feed. If the student is confident or a passionate writer, simple posts every now and then can keep connections updated on what the student is up to in their industry and what skills they are learning.
One of the easiest and most effective ways of using LinkedIn to get a job is to follow relevant industry groups and keep tabs on the news in that area. More opportunities will arise to students who follow
businesses that they’re interested in working for – they can also actively seek opportunities that arise on the site. LinkedIn can also save plenty of time when it comes to applying for a role, since it can fill out entire forms for based on what is included in the profile.
When making connections, it can be a good idea to send a personalised message to catch people’s attention and make a meaningful network. All of this will help in the long run – a profile that shows active posting and care for detail is appealing to potential employees.