How to use LinkedIn as a student and more importantly, land a job when you have graduated!
LinkedIn is a great place to network if you are a student. There’s no better time to start building up your networks. It’s a great place to increase your online presence. And, it’s never too soon to set up an account on LinkedIn!
I remember my student days and thinking I’ve got loads of time before I need to worry about getting a job! I was wrong!! The time went so fast, and I wish I’d starting networking sooner. In my defense, there wasn’t LinkedIn when I was a student.
I also remember how much time I spent in the library. Consequently, I spent a lot of time searching, reading, and photocopying reams of journal articles!
Today, you don’t even have to leave the house to have access to journals, publications, and as much content as you can digest!
More importantly, you don’t have to leave the house to network. In other words, you can network on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is the most professional and trusted social media platform to start building your connections.
LinkedIn profile if you’re a student
Firstly, it’s essential you set up a good profile. A good profile includes all the relevant information for your ideal job. So, you need to add your achievements, and accomplishments, qualifications, experience, knowledge, and skills aligned with your career goals.
Secondly, you know there will be lots of competition in the jobs market next year. Therefore, your profile must stand out from the other graduates on LinkedIn.
When you are applying for jobs on LinkedIn, it’s important to make a good first impression. That’s why it’s important you spend some quality time setting up your profile. After all, it’s the most professional and trusted social media site.
Focus on a compelling Headline and About section and add as many relevant key skills to your profile as you can – this will get your account higher up in the searches and more visible to people looking and searching for your skills.
Start by adding a professional and friendly photo of you. You will get 14 times more profile views if you have a professional photo. You can take a decent selfie these days. However, recruiters are not so keen on the mirror selfies, that’s a step too far.
People do business with people!
Recruiters and hiring managers like to know who they are contacting, and communicating with, so add a professional photo as soon as you set up your account.
Here are some additional tips when adding a professional photo to LinkedIn: 10 Top Tips for LinkedIn Profile Photos
The Headline is 120 characters (there are a few more characters available via the app) and it is suggested you maximize these characters.
Your headline appears everywhere your name appears. Therefore, every time you comment or like a post, your headline is visible. It’s like a mini digital business card.
As a student, you could include your Degree subject, career aspirations, sector, or discipline into your Headline.
If you are looking for inspiration, review other student accounts and write up your own interesting headline. In the meantime, here are some examples we found:
This is one of the most important sections. Because people read this section first. You have 2,000 characters in this section.
It’s suggested you put some time and thought into the information you share in this section. It’s your marketing document and your first impression to the world!
People that find your account want to find out about you, your background, and your reasons for being on LinkedIn.
If you don’t have any work experience, it’s still important to include some information in the About Section.
Here are some ideas to get you thinking about the information you can share even if you have no work experience: How to write a LinkedIn summary with no work experience.
The first two or three sentences are the most important and should communicate your main message and entice the reader to click on the ‘see more’.
The about section is an opportunity to showcase your achievements, your skills, knowledge, your personality, your characteristics, and a little about your career aspirations and goals when you graduate.
There are thousands of students that don’t include information in the about section and this is a massive missed opportunity.
Alumni Tool for Students
There are 3 million MBA Graduates on LinkedIn. So, if you are thinking LinkedIn isn’t really for graduates you may wish to reconsider.
LinkedIn is a powerful and comprehensive database of people. However, it’s important you understand that it’s only effective if you connect and network with the most relevant people. Meaning, people in your sector, industry, or discipline.
Therefore, the Alumni tool is a great tool to find those relevant and like-minded people within your sector, industry, and discipline.
Find the University you are studying at, follow, and join their Alumni.
You will see how many Alumni are following your University and you can narrow them down by where they live, where they work, what they do, what they studied, what they are skilled at, and how you are connected (1st, 2nd, or 3rd.)
The purpose of narrowing down by location, discipline, or sector, is to be able to start connecting and networking with those people.
Networking isn’t just to land that dream job. It can open opportunities to gain valuable work experience.
LinkedIn is a trusted professional site and a great place to connect and network with other professionals within your discipline and sector. And, you can never network too soon!
LinkedIn Tips for Students
- Create a LinkedIn account in your first year of university
- Ensure your LinkedIn profile is fully completed
- Keep your profile up to date with achievement’s and accomplishments
- Post regularly to keep your contacts informed and engaged
- Add stories to keep your network informed and share your journey
- Join relevant groups and get involved in the discussions
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