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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.