A Complete Guide for Students to Designing a Perfect LinkedIn Profile

Build your own LinkedIn profile

You already know what Linked­In is, right?

Just in case you aren’t famil­iar with it yet, then skim through the page about the web­site on Wikipedia.

First­ly, if you don’t have a Linked­In pro­file, then cre­ate one. Do it right now. It’s cru­cial to the growth of your career. You can­not afford to ignore it.

In a hur­ry? Alright, do it after read­ing this post if you haven’t. The only rea­son we’re urg­ing you to cre­ate a Linked­In pro­file is the poten­tial which that giant social media site of the work­ing pro­fes­sion­al holds, which is immense.

You may call it a sea of end­less oppor­tu­ni­ties. Or per­haps, some­thing more.

A Linked­In pro­file teach­es you to inter­act with oth­ers like you in your indus­try. It gives you an oppor­tu­ni­ty to peek into the life you wish to have by show­ing you what peo­ple in your indus­try are doing.

Not only that, but it can also help you find new breaks online, which a fair deal as it saves your time, and is a lot more con­ve­nient than doing the same things in the real world.

So if you already have a Linked­In pro­file, then that’s great. In this post we’ll give you all the details about how you can enhance your Linked­In pro­file.

After read­ing it, you’ll be able to make yours a per­fect one. Here we go.

Why you should be on LinkedIn?

For a plen­ty of rea­sons.

Yet, to be speci­fic, we’re list­ing down some clear expla­na­tions to back-up what we’re say­ing just in case you doubt whether Linked­In can be use­ful to you or not.

  • Linked­In oper­ates the world’s largest pro­fes­sion­al net­work on the Inter­net with more than 467 mil­lion mem­bers in over 200 coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries.
  • Pro­fes­sion­als are sign­ing up to join Linked­In at a rate of more than two new mem­bers per sec­ond.
  • There are more than 40 mil­lion stu­dents and recent col­lege grad­u­ates on Linked­In. They are LinkedIn’s fastest-growing demo­graph­ic.

linkedin-membership-stats

Along with the sub­stan­tial stats list­ed above, there are sev­er­al oth­er ways in which Linked­In can be help­ful to you through­out your col­lege, and after.

Refer this info­graph­ic if you’re inter­est­ed in know­ing more about the use­ful­ness of Linked­In.

How LinkedIn profile of students should be different than the rest?

To be hon­est, most stun­ning Linked­In pro­files have some com­mon ele­ments which make them look phe­nom­e­nal.

So just because you come from a cer­tain field, doesn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly imply that your pro­file should look dif­fer­ent from the oth­ers which exist out there.

How­ev­er, there are some things you can do to stand out from the rest of the crowd as men­tioned below.

  • High­light the parts which have greater demand and cred­i­bil­i­ty in your indus­try.
  • Men­tion any real world expe­ri­ence you’ve had, such as job, project, intern­ship, etc.
  • Be speci­fic about whom you wish to attract and cus­tomize your pro­file such that it con­tains most skills and expe­ri­ences relat­ed to the kind of job you want.

For e.g. If Python is the cur­rent trend­ing lan­guage, then include your Python relat­ed cer­ti­fi­ca­tions and show your expe­ri­ences relat­ed to it. It’ll give you a greater expo­sure to the peo­ple who might be search­ing for can­di­dates hav­ing skills which you pos­sess, and so on.

What mat­ters the most is that what kind of con­nec­tions you wish to have, and from which indus­try, so that you can have greater chances of rel­e­vant prospects.

How LinkedIn can help students?

In a lot of won­der­ful ways.

Seri­ous­ly.

Once you real­ize the use­ful­ness of a plat­form like Linked­In, it won’t be hard for you to under­stand why it’s already so pop­u­lar among recruiters and job seek­ers.

Here are some ways in which hav­ing a Linked­In pro­file can help stu­dents:

Student linkedin profile benefits

  • Intern­ships
    You’re a click away from find­ing intern­ships in your region. Although there are sev­er­al oth­er sites which provide sim­i­lar job search ser­vices, you can rely on Linked­In, as you’re less like­ly to find fake post­ings, spam or frauds which are com­mon on oth­er sites.

    Since jobs are post­ed by gen­uine users, you can trust them which reduces a lot of strain as you can be assured that you aren’t being tricked or wast­ing your time.

  • Jobs
    It’s a com­mon scene nowa­days that when­ev­er com­pa­nies need to recruit new can­di­dates or staff, they post infor­ma­tion about the vacan­cies on Linked­In which helps them to reach out to the inter­est­ed peo­ple.

    Also, indi­vid­u­al hir­ers too post about job open­ings on Linked­In on behalf of their com­pa­nies. You can get in touch with them to increas­es you chances of land­ing an ide­al job you’re search­ing for.

    Nev­er­the­less, you can also direct­ly check the jobs avail­able for you which are sug­gest­ed to you in your Linked­In pro­file itself.

  • Net­work­ing
    If you ask us, this is the biggest advan­tage of Linked­In.

    It isn’t easy to find the right peo­ple to net­work with­in the real world. Linked­In helps you over­come this prob­lem by giv­ing you a chance to get the atten­tion of those peo­ple.

    It can be a bless­ing for your pro­fes­sion­al advance­ment if you just hit the spot and suc­ceed in attract­ing the big guys in your indus­try or man­age to get noticed by those who can help you grow.

  • Increased Online pres­ence
    Your Linked­In pro­file might show up in search engine results if craft­ed prop­er­ly, and can even show up to peo­ple who are search­ing for can­di­dates like you.

    Or at least, it’ll ensure that you name appears on the Inter­net when­ev­er some­one wants to know more about you, which will indeed keep you from miss­ing out any new oppor­tu­ni­ties.

    You can use it as a chan­nel to fur­ther pro­mote your­self by redi­rect­ing links through it to your per­son­al blog, achieve­ments, projects or pub­li­ca­tions to make the best out of it.

  • Pro­fes­sion­al port­fo­lio
    No one asks for your resume except the inter­view­ers. But that doesn’t mean that peo­ple aren’t inter­est­ed in know­ing about what you’ve done and what you’re up to. They’re curi­ous.

    A Linked­In pro­file serves much like your online port­fo­lio. It con­tains every­thing that you’ve done till date. If some­one is con­sid­er­ing hir­ing you but doesn’t want to con­tact you direct­ly as he doesn’t know you, then he can sim­ply check out your Linked­In pro­file to decide whether you ful­fill his require­ments.

    Use your Linked­In pro­file like an online port­fo­lio which peo­ple can refer to learn more about your work. Make sure that it looks great.

Ways to make a perfect LinkedIn profile

We’ve com­piled a list of most essen­tial Linked­In tips which you’ll need as a stu­dent, and have tried to cov­er almost every aspect below.

1. Write crisp descriptions

Make your sum­ma­ry as well as oth­er descrip­tions con­cise and inter­est­ing.

Don’t stretch them unnec­es­sar­i­ly. The more fluff you add, the more bor­ing your pro­file will appear to oth­ers.

Take some time to cre­ate a brief copy, choose your words wise­ly, and come up with best sum­ma­ry which you can cre­ate.

Call for help from fel­lows who write bet­ter than you if need­ed, as being lazy while writ­ing the con­tent on your Linked­In pro­file can spoil your image.

Also, since descrip­tion is among the first few things which peo­ple notice in your pro­file, you don’t want it to cre­ate a bad impres­sion on oth­ers.

To be clear, stick to the point and only include what’s rel­e­vant.

No need to flood that place by writ­ing about your­self or to tell how coop­er­a­tive you are. Leave that for lat­er.

Your sum­ma­ry and descrip­tions work like your intro, so it’s bet­ter if you treat them like ele­va­tor pitch­es instead of try­ing to say it all at once.

2. Ask for recommendations and endorsements

Rec­om­men­da­tions from oth­er peo­ple are a sign of trust.

Peo­ple treat the rec­om­men­da­tions given by oth­ers sin­cere­ly as they tell a lot about your work.

So if you’ve pre­vi­ous­ly worked for some­one or with a team, then ask those peo­ple to leave a rec­om­men­da­tion on your Linked­In pro­file. There’s noth­ing wrong about it.

You can ask your col­leagues, boss or any of your friends who are aware of your work habits to leave a gen­uine rec­om­men­da­tion.

Each rec­om­men­da­tion tells some­thing more about you and gives the peo­ple who glance at your pro­file to know you bet­ter.

Also, ask for some endorse­ments for your most val­ued skills. This will reflect your exper­tise in those par­tic­u­lar sub­jects.

3. Re-order the skills as per your strengths

We all include a lot of skills in our Linked­In pro­file.

But is it the right way to do it? No real­ly.

Includ­ing too many unre­lat­ed skills can con­fuse oth­ers as it becomes hard for them to fig­ure out your actu­al strengths.

Instead of con­tain­ing every­thing you know in your skills, first­ly focus on includ­ing the ones which you love and know. This will add more speci­fici­ty to your Linked­In pro­file.

Once you’re done with that, arrange your skills such that the ones which are most impor­tant appear at the top. You just need to click “Edit” and then drag them ver­ti­cal­ly to do so.

After that, below the skills which you have pri­or­i­tized, add the ones which are most endorsed by oth­ers. They make your pro­file look nice – no oth­er par­tic­u­lar rea­son for that.

Last but not the least, don’t be among those peo­ple who add ran­dom skills with­out any pur­pose. For instance, MS-Word, MS-PowerPoint, etc. are all a part of MS-Office. Why would you include them indi­vid­u­al­ly? Avoid doing such things.

It’s easy to spot when you try hard to fill up the space, so rather keep the infor­ma­tion as clear and use­ful as pos­si­ble.

4. Include your certifications

Got some cer­ti­fi­ca­tions?

Your Linked­In pro­file is a great place to show them.

Among the numer­ous ben­e­fits of hav­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tions, one advan­tage is that it makes you appear more believ­able. Cer­ti­fi­ca­tions can be used as a means to back-up your claims.

Not only that, but it con­vinces oth­ers of your expe­ri­ence and the amount of prac­tice you’ve put into your work.

Although your cer­ti­fi­ca­tions won’t sud­den­ly tempt the man­agers to hire you, they’re worth being on your pro­file.

Peo­ple treat cer­ti­fi­ca­tions dif­fer­ent­ly. It’s up to them to decide how much your cer­ti­fi­ca­tions mean to them. Still, cer­ti­fi­ca­tions are like a cher­ry on the cake.

5. Show your personality in your profile

Don’t make your Linked­In pro­file look like you’ve copy-pasted it from some­where.

Some­times, tem­plates can be great though. Yet, a self-written pro­file con­tent is still your best bet.
Linked­In gives you a space for just 2000 char­ac­ters. Which means that you can’t describe every­thing in a lengthy way.

But that shouldn’t restrict you from telling oth­ers about your­self. Sprin­kle your per­son­al­i­ty in your sum­ma­ry.

Be a bit humor­ous, say a line which describes you well, share an expe­ri­ence from past or men­tion your dream.

In short, give oth­ers a peek into your­self and tell them what you’re like in per­son.

Plain sum­maries are bor­ing – and you don’t want to bore oth­ers.

6. Include publications

This part seems dull but is a lot use­ful than you might think.

If you have remark­able writ­ing skills and have writ­ten arti­cles for a mag­a­zine or pub­li­ca­tions, then include them in the ‘pub­li­ca­tions’ sec­tion of your Linked­In pro­file.

Fur­ther, don’t for­get to include any research papers which you have writ­ten for jour­nals or some­where else. They count as well.

Can you also add blog posts?

Sure.

But don’t over­do it, as those links might take up a lot of space and tire those who look at your pro­file. You can def­i­nite­ly men­tion your posts fea­tured on some reput­ed sites though.

7. Describe your experiences in detail

Don’t make peo­ple imag­ine.

Tell them what you did.

Peo­ple often don’t pay heed to oth­er descrip­tions than sum­ma­ry while mod­i­fy­ing their pro­files, which sort of dilutes the influ­ence of their pro­file at once.

Whether you’re describ­ing what you did dur­ing your intern­ship peri­od or the tasks which you did at your first job, explain it well.

Give thor­ough details about your main accom­plish­ments if pos­si­ble and share what you learned.

Write about the tools you used, who were your team­mates, how you did things, over­all dura­tion of the project and any­thing else that’s impor­tant.

8. Include links to your work

Add the links to your port­fo­lio, web­sites, project sites, etc. along with their descrip­tions.

Give peo­ple an option to know more if they wish to, so that they can learn more about what inter­ests them.

Doing this might open you up to new prospects if they become impressed.

Anoth­er advan­tage is that your sites will get qual­i­ty back­links which can help you in SEO pur­pos­es.

10. Expand your network

Grow your num­ber of con­nec­tions.

Those ‘500+ con­nec­tions’ look attrac­tive.

Get in touch with as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble in your net­work. Or at least reach out to the ones who have sim­i­lar inter­ests as you.

How­ev­er, avoid spam­ming peo­ple and only send con­nec­tion requests to peo­ple whom you know or are acquaint­ed with while doing so.

After all, the ulti­mate pur­pose of Linked­In is to help your grow your pro­fes­sion­al net­work. More con­nec­tions ensure that you’ll have a broad­er reach.

11. Upload a good-looking headshot

Hav­ing a nice pro­file pho­to makes a huge dif­fer­ence.

Accord­ing to this post on the offi­cial Linked­In blog, a pro­file with a pho­to is 11 times more like­ly to be viewed.

How do you expect peo­ple to notice you amid those hun­dreds of oth­er pro­files with that default pho­to? Sounds prac­ti­cal, right?

Ask your friend to click a nice one for you may­be. That would work.

We rec­om­mend this excel­lent post to learn how to click a per­fect pro­file pho­to or for any of your social pro­files.

What else? Get a per­fect one clicked for you after read­ing this post.

12. Show your achievements and projects

Well, Linked­In doesn’t restrict you to work itself.

It gives you some space to share oth­er things like the projects which you’ve car­ried out.

In this space, you can tell oth­ers about the cool appli­ca­tions which you made, or the web­site idea which you tried turn­ing into a busi­ness.

Feel free to share the con­cepts and exper­i­ments which you’ve tried out. Tell some­thing more about the skills you used to build them and the pur­pose of what you did.

Let your work speak for itself.

13. Start publishing on LinkedIn pulse

This is a great way to build­ing a per­son­al brand over time and estab­lish­ing a con­nec­tion with oth­ers.

Also, it’s always bet­ter to give back to your com­mu­ni­ty by shar­ing what­ev­er you’re learn­ing, and teach­ing it to oth­ers.

Pub­lish­ing help­ful posts relat­ed to your field of exper­tise can give you the sta­tus of a lead­er.

If you’re not yet famil­iar with Linked­In Pulse, then read this arti­cle on Hub­spot to get start­ed.

That’s all you need to know for cre­at­ing a per­fect Linked­In pro­file. Given below are some addi­tion­al tips you should know.

Some Quick Tips to Remember

  • Write your bio in first per­son
    Because oth­ers know you wrote it. Writ­ing your sum­ma­ry or bio as a third per­son is like pre­tend­ing to be some­one else to brag about your­self.

    Although it’s often fine in some cas­es, we rec­om­mend you to write down the con­tent in your pro­file from the first per­son point of view.

  • Don’t use it like any oth­er social site
    Linked­In isn’t Face­book. Nei­ther twit­ter. Nor Instagram.What does this mean? No pics of break­fast, and no self­ies with pout­ed lips.

    Although you might be aware of the fact that Linked­In is meant for pro­fes­sion­al inter­ac­tions, we thought it’s bet­ter to remind you of that. Keep your posts to the point, and avoid shar­ing any­thing that doesn’t serve a sig­nif­i­cant pur­pose.

  • Don’t make gram­mat­i­cal mis­takes
    Mak­ing gram­mat­i­cal errors casts a bad impres­sion on oth­ers. It’s a goofy mis­take which might bring down your rep­u­ta­tion. Don’t let that hap­pen.

    Proof­read your pro­file con­tent before you pub­lish it, and check it to find out any gram­mat­i­cal mis­takes which might have went unno­ticed.

  • Get a cus­tom URL
    Are you still using the numer­ic URL which Linked­In gave you? It’s time to get a new one if you are.

    Linked­In gives you an option to get a cus­tom pro­file link which you can choose once after cre­at­ing a pro­file. This makes it eas­ier for oth­ers to find you online and also gives makes it handy and easy for you to share than the default one.

  • For­mat your pro­file con­tent pre­cise­ly
    We’ve already told you about how to write a per­fect sum­ma­ry, but how you for­mat it mat­ters equal­ly.

    Use sym­bols wherever nec­es­sary, include bul­lets to high­light the main points, cap­i­tal­ize the head­ings and divide para­graphs prop­er­ly. This will make your Linked­In pro­file more read­able and attention-grabbing.

  • Fol­low the com­pa­nies you wish to work for
    There’s a usu­al rea­son for that – it keeps you updat­ed with their lat­est posts.

    Now those posts might be about lat­est pro­duct releas­es, pho­tos of their team or recruit­ment news. It’s up to them.

    Yet, your choice of com­pa­nies which you fol­low some­how tells oth­ers more about what kind of work cul­ture you’re inter­est­ed in.

  • Avoid using buzz­words
    Hard­work­ing, pas­sion­ate, self-motivated, excel­lent lead­er­ship skills. – Whoa! Whoa!

    Why are you try­ing so hard to impress oth­ers? It’s alright to use big words, but pre­vent any buzz­words and jar­gon unnec­es­sar­i­ly. This habit is one of the sev­er­al Linked­In mis­takes which you might make. Cut-off the filler words too. Keep the con­tent which serves a pur­pose, hit back­space on the words that aren’t nec­es­sary.

Wish to learn more about creating a perfect student LinkedIn profile?

The best resource avail­able out there to learn about the advan­tages of Linked­In and har­ness­ing its poten­tial when you’re still a stu­dent is Linked­In for stu­dents.

Cre­ate a Linked­In pro­file

Did we miss something?

What else should be done to cre­ate a per­fect Linked­In pro­file accord­ing to you? Do you have any oth­er tips?

Share them with us in the com­ments below.

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