Top tips for a Strong Linkedin Student Profile
12 February, 2023
9 mins read
Tips and Advice
Social media has been and continues to be a crucial aspect of our everyday lives. Whether we use it to stay connected, learn more, get exposed to different cultures, or simply pass the time scrolling through endless posts and videos, there is no denying its role in everyone’s days, especially students or young people in general.
As a student, you often find yourself caring about social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tiktok, with applications and platforms like LinkedIn being majorly overlooked or seen as not necessary while you’re still in college. Consider this scenario, though. What if we told you that having a LinkedIn profile as a student is actually important?
LinkedIn can be intimidating, especially if you’re just starting out your career or are simply still a student; you find yourself surrounded by people who have been in the game far longer than you, who have experience and an impressive resume to show for it. However, having a LinkedIn profile as a student is not that hard and we have the tips to help you get there! But before we help you create a strong LinkedIn student profile, let us first delve into what LinkedIn is and why you should have one!
What is LinkedIn?
As a student and possibly an avid social media user, you’re probably already familiar with the concept of having a profile, posting content, and engaging with a pre-existing newsfeed. While LinkedIn is not different from other social medial platforms when it comes to those aspects, the skill set you are showcasing or the content you’re posting varies substantially from what you might share or include on your Instagram and Facebook profiles.
While still being categorized as a social media platform, LinkedIn is more professional and reserved than any other social networking platform out there; it has different goals and requirements and presents different opportunities. The type of networking you engage in on LinkedIn mainly involves showing your detailed skills and making valuable connections. This is unlike the type of networking you might get up to on other applications whose purpose may involve friendships and influences.
Why Should Students Have a LinkedIn Profile?
As fun and engaging as platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are, they don’t exactly provide you with professional work opportunities or chances to further your knowledge, advance your career, and make connections. This is where LinkedIn comes in; this platform is where students, young professionals, and experts meet to network, connect, and help each other flourish professionally. If you think that you, as a student, do not really need to have a LinkedIn profile, let us tell you all the reasons why you might be wrong!
Connect with College Alumni
One of the unique features of LinkedIn is the Alumni Tool, which helps you with your school/college alumni. Using this tool, you can see where everyone you went to school with lives, where they work, what they do, how you are connected, and so much more. With this knowledge under your belt, you can make connections and form important networks to further your career and professional path.
Build a Professional Network
This might not seem important for you as a student, but it definitely comes in handy in the long run. Establishing a strong professional network not only with your school alumni but also with experts and professionals in your field of study, helps you grow your career or business when you first step into the market. You can find and connect with recruiters and executives from the company you wish to join after graduation. Or, if you want to be an entrepreneur, you can reach other successful entrepreneurs and have them mentor you as you set up your very first startup.
Learn and Develop New Skills
LinkedIn Learning, a premium e-learning portal offered by LinkedIn itself, helps users develop their professional skills under the supervision and through the teachings of industry experts. This unique LinkedIn algorithm also recommends courses and learning opportunities covering the most in-demand skills to help you advance your professional career.
Scout for Internships and Job Opportunities
Job recruiters and Human Resources executives take to LinkedIn to find the ideal candidates for their job postings. This allows you, as a student, to connect with said executives and recruiters and find yourself a fitting job or internship. Searching for work opportunities on LinkedIn is an easy feat; the platform is fitted with filters and alerts that help you tailor your search for specific jobs according to your field of choice, your location of choice, your experience level, and the type of job you want.
Establish a Professional Online Presence
Having a strong professional online presence helps you greatly when you graduate and step foot into the job market and the professional scene. Having a LinkedIn profile in your resume as well as strong connections with people in your field sets you apart from other candidates and gives you a head start when it comes to finding the right career fit for you.
Top Tips for a Strong LinkedIn Student Profile
Now that you know why you should have a LinkedIn student profile, let’s talk about making it happen. Having a strong LinkedIn student profile will help you advance and unlock new heights professionally. As a student, we’re well aware that you might not know how to make it in a professional setting. Worry not, though, Casita’s got your back! We’ve compiled a list of the best and most essential tips for creating a top-notch LinkedIn profile as a student, let’s go through each one!
Use a Decent and Professional Profile Photo
One of the most important tips for a strong LinkedIn student profile is choosing the right picture. A LinkedIn profile with a relevant and fitting profile picture is several times more likely to be viewed; it is the first thing people see when your profile appears in their search results or recommendations. This is why you should neither leave it empty nor use an ill-fitting photo that may ruin your first impression.
A few things to consider when setting up a profile photo for your LinkedIn include the following:
Make sure the background is clear
Use a high-quality photo
Be in proper attire
Avoid party shots, group photos, logos, and avatars
Keep your face in the centre
Formulate a Professional About Section
A professional about section is one of the most important pillars of a strong LinkedIn profile. As a student, this section should serve as an introduction and an overview of your academic achievements and extracurricular activities. You can also elaborate on your skills and where you see yourself in the future.
A tip to help recruiters and hiring managers find you with ease, especially if you're in your graduation year and are about to step into the professional scene, is to add industry-relevant terms and keywords to your about section. A good about section on LinkedIn should answer some of the following questions:
What are your professional goals?
What have you done to achieve those goals?
Where do you want to see yourself after college/school?
How can you help companies/individuals grow with your skills?
Add an Attention-Grabbing Headline
Almost as important as your profile photo is your headline. This is another part of your profile that people see before actually clicking on your profile and an important searching tool on LinkedIn. Giving yourself enough time to craft a unique and attention-grabbing headline is a great way to boost your visibility among recruiters and hiring managers.
Leaving the headline empty prompts LinkedIn to automatically fill it with your current job, which may not be the most attractive thing for recruiters or HR executives who might be interested in you for a certain job or position. Make sure your headline says something about your skills, your experience, and what you can bring to the table.
Highlight Your Education
Education is a crucial addition to your strong LinkedIn student profile. List all the schools and colleges you have attended or are currently attending. If you’ve graduated, you can add the years in which you were in the institute, and if not, you can add your expected graduation year. This helps you build credibility and stand out to school alumni who are looking to connect with you.
Remember to add detailed descriptions and highlight activities you participated in at the respective institutes you’ve attended or are currently attending. This gives you the opportunity to showcase everything you learned and accomplished. You can also add photos, videos, and documents as proof.
Shine a Light on Your Volunteer Experience
A part of your profile should be dedicated to highlighting and emphasizing your role in society. This includes volunteering for NGOs and non-profit organisations. Describing your volunteer experience in detail and shining a light on your role in various events show people what kind of person you are, how helpful you can be, and the causes you stand for.
Showcase Your Skills
Under the Skills section on LinkedIn, make sure to add and showcase your various skills. LinkedIn allows you to add up to 50 skills. However, it’s recommended that you fill the available entries with the skills you want to be found for. Managing an industry-relevant list of skills on your profile helps you find better and more tailored matches for internships and job opportunities.
Display Your Certifications, Honors, and Awards
In the Honors and Awards section, feel free to add any awards in sports or any extra-curricular activities that you’ve earned from the recognized authority. Also in the Certifications section, you can add any certifications you’ve achieved as well as a link for people to validate them and authorize their validity.
Showcase Your Language Proficiency
Language is an important tool for you to advance your career. Knowing as many languages as possible opens up so many doors and opportunities and allows you to widen your network and make as many connections as possible. LinkedIn has a languages section where you can add the languages you speak and your proficiency level.
List Courses You’ve Taken
A Courses section is also available on LinkedIn for you to list any and all courses you’ve taken over the course of your academic or professional career. Professionals on LinkedIn are usually aware of school and college courses, so make sure to include courses that are out of this scope, including courses you took as training or ones that are offered by recognised organizations.
Make Your Test Scores Public
You may not have extensive working experience yet as a student, but you’ve probably taken various competitive exams. Good test scores indicate good problem-solving skills, which can be used to attract recruiters and hiring managers. So if you took and scored in some competitive exams, make sure you add these scores to your profile.
Share Projects You’ve Been Part of
As a student who’s probably lacking professional work experience, this is where school or university projects come in. There is a Project section on LinkedIn where you can add all the projects you’ve worked on in school or ones you’ve been a part of in any internship.
Feature Recommendations and Endorsements
Recommendations and endorsements on your profile aim to back the claims you made about your listed abilities and skills. Recruiters and HR executives always seek to know what others think about you and your skills. This is why adding recommendations from trusted, genuine, and higher officials of an organisation enhances your profile, adds to your credibility, and builds trust in the eyes of potential employers. So, make sure to ask your professors, project managers, and internship supervisors for a recommendation or a skill endorsement on your profile.
Have a Unique URL
When you create a profile on LinkedIn, the platform assigns you a random URL made up of random numbers and alphabets, which is hard to remember and share. This is why you need to create a short and unique URL for your profile. Having a customized URL for your profile increases the chances of you appearing in search results with keywords of your name.
If you want to connect with like-minded people from similar industries and backgrounds, then joining a LinkedIn group is the way to go! Just joining a LinkedIn group on its own is not going to work for you, you have to engage in group discussions and share industry-related updates and posts in order to create and establish a strong presence among your peers and industry pioneers.
Follow Company Pages and Influencers
LinkedIn, like other social networking sites, is home to a number of thought leaders and influencers who start discussions and spark conversations surrounding a variety of topics. Make sure to follow the ones related to your industry and field of expertise as well as follow company pages in the same scope or ones you wish to be a part of in the future.
Connect with Friends and Professionals
After connecting with alumni, professors, and industry professionals, you can then move on to connecting with friends in the same area of work, or friends who can help further your connections and widen your overall professional network.
Regularly Update Your Field with Industry-Relevant Posts
Attracting potential industry-relevant connections and future employers is mainly done through optimizing your profile and sharing industry-relevant posts, content, and updates. LinkedIn allows you to share content in the form of text updates, pictures, and video content. Additionally, you can publish articles on this platform. So, make sure you regularly share informative content to prove your proficiency and knowledge among professionals and employers.
This is your guide to having a strong LinkedIn student profile in a nutshell! Having a strong profile and maintaining a professional presence is crucial to advancing your career in more ways than you can imagine. With these tips in mind, you can now start building your LinkedIn profile and making sure you get those job opportunities!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why should students have a LinkedIn profile?
While not active professionally yet, students can still have a professional online presence on LinkedIn to establish themselves, showcases their skills, learn more, make connections, and make sure they can get in touch with recruiters and hiring managers in order to land the job they want.
2. What should be included in a student's LinkedIn profile?
The main things to include in your LinkedIn profile as a student are headlines, an about section, courses, skills, a decent profile photo, languages, and education.