Get that “All-Star” profile status.
LinkedIn is a great resource for anyone, especially students, looking to advance their careers. And since that’s the exact reason we’re here, we should use it! But with over 645 million users on the platform, it’s going to take more than a barebones profile to attract connections, recruiters and employers.
Here are 6 ways to stand out on LinkedIn as a student:
1. Upload a professional headshot
It goes without saying that LinkedIn is a professional network. So the best thing you can do to get your profile noticed is to upload a high-quality headshot. There’s some flexibility on this depending on the industry you work in (or aspire to work in), but generally, a close-up of your well-dressed self with a neutral backdrop is best.
If you’re stuck for ideas just remember these simple tips:
Do: Look your best, use natural light, and have someone else take the photo for you.
Don’t: Take a selfie, use flash, and worst of all—don’t be caught in unprofessional attire.
2. Add a background photo
A newer feature to LinkedIn is the background photo. Similar to the banner feature on Facebook and Twitter, it’s another opportunity to add a customized visual element to make your profile pop. Try to choose an image that reflects your personal brand (bonus points if you design it yourself). Just be sure to put something there, otherwise, you’ll have the same default background as everyone else. Boring.
3. Craft a unique headline
This is the text that appears below your name on your profile. By default, LinkedIn will put your current job title in this section. That’s fine, but it’s not going to help you stand out. Use your headline as an opportunity to mention what you’re best at and what you’re passionate about. That way people can get a sense of your professional identity in a nutshell.
4. Write an effective summary
Your LinkedIn summary can be treated like your bio section on most other social media platforms. But you should resist the temptation to copy and paste the same thing you wrote on Facebook or Instagram. The best way to write an effective summary is to describe who you are, what you do and what you’ve accomplished in as few words as possible. Put special emphasis on your accomplishments and use keywords associated with your dream job to really catch the eye of employers.
5. Grow your connections
The real power of a strong LinkedIn profile comes from your connections, so add everyone you meet at school, work, and networking events. Your exposure to people in your industry increases exponentially every time you add someone new. This is thanks to LinkedIn’s system of first, second, and third-degree connections which allows people you haven’t met to see your activity through your interactions with mutual connections. This can lead to unexpected career opportunities you likely wouldn’t come across outside of LinkedIn.
6. Get some recommendations
Solid recommendations are what separates the best profiles from the rest. Employers love to see that you’ve been publicly endorsed in your role. These positive testimonials about your work performance come from peers, employees, clients, and managers. Click the ‘Ask for Recommendations’ button on your profile to get your connections to write something nice about you. If you’re feeling generous, consider paying it forward by writing a few recommendations yourself. You never know where it might land someone!
Don’t miss your opportunity to network at our LinkedIn Local event on Wednesday, Nov. 6 2019 at Lakeshore campus.
Looking for your dream job? Try these 6 tips to take the fear out of job hunting.