How To Boost Your LinkedIn Whilst At University
Many students see LinkedIn as a platform which is only useful for professionals, but for a matter of fact, it’s an important online resource you should be utilising whilst still studying, no matter the industry you’re aspiring to enter.
Why? You can use LinkedIn to build an online presence for when you graduate, you can build a strong network of connections, prepare for interviews, research companies as well as showcase your education, skills, work experience and achievements.
If you’ve never used LinkedIn before, it can be daunting to know how to build your profile and get the most out of the social media networking site, but don’t worry, we’re here to help you out.
In this article, we’ll be discussing tips on how to boost your LinkedIn whilst at university so you can stand out to future employers and begin building your digital network!
How To Create A LinkedIn Profile
First things first, if you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile set up then don’t worry, it’s quick and easy to create a profile.
Head over to the LinkedIn website to register, you’ll need to add in a few details like your first and last name, email, and password.
You can also add the area you live in and your higher education institution along with other information, and within a few clicks, you’ll have your profile ready and raring to go.
Whilst it’s free to use LinkedIn, you can choose to upgrade to a premium account where you will have access to additional features.
All sorted with setting up your account? Our next section will offer you tips on how to boost your LinkedIn as a student!
Tips To Boost Your LinkedIn
Setting up a LinkedIn account isn’t where it ends, you need to ensure your profile stands out and is going to grab the attention of prospective employers and recruiters.
If you want to enhance your LinkedIn profile to help you get noticed, achieve your goals, make new connections or even get a job offer, we’ve listed some all-important tips below.
Just because you’re still at university doesn’t mean you can’t create a killer LinkedIn profile!
1. Upload A Professional Profile Photo
When it comes to creating a LinkedIn profile as a student, ensuring you have a professional profile photo is key as it will be the first thing employers see.
Whilst you may struggle to find a professional headshot on your camera roll of nights out selfies and Instagram photo dumps, it’s important to upload the right kind of photograph. Remember what they say about first impressions, they’re crucial!
Research shows that members who have a profile photo on LinkedIn can get up to 21 times more profile views than members without, so don’t be that person who leaves your photo blank.
What makes a professional profile photo? Well, you certainly don’t need to pay for a photoshoot (you could if you wanted), but you should ensure the background is clear, you’re dressed smartly, and your face is in the centre.
2. Add An Attention-grabbing Headline
The headline feature on LinkedIn shows who you are to your network, what you do, your area of study and what you want to be.
Similar to your profile photo, it’s one of the first things that employers, recruiters and other professionals will see, so make sure you add an attention-grabbing headline.
You have 120 characters to create a headline, try to think about how to summarise your current position, such as ‘Leeds University Student Searching for Journalism Graduate Roles’.
Remember to use the right keywords in your headline and keep it short and in title case.
We’d suggest spending some time playing around with different headline variations, you can even view examples online to help you out!
3. Complete About Section
The about me section or summary feature lets people know more about you, your story, what your passions are, as well as what your goals are – it’s essentially a blurb for your LinkedIn profile!
Whilst you do get 2000 characters for your about section on LinkedIn, you should try to limit the text to around one or two paragraphs, or use bullet points if you’d rather.
Similarly to a CV, employers aren’t going to spend too long reading through tons of text, they want something which is a brief introduction to who you are and is straight to the point.
4. Add Work Experience, Skills & Qualifications
Once you’ve nailed your summary section, you should begin to add your work experience, skills and qualifications to your LinkedIn profile.
You could include details of any work placements, internships or volunteering experience which you have, as well as link examples of your work if you have an online portfolio or blog.
Additionally, you could add any courses you might have taken outside of university to your profile – if you’re proud of it, show it!
By adding your education history, you can make it easier for employers to check you have the level of qualifications they require for specific job roles. Make sure to update your profile once you’ve graduated with your degree result too.
When it comes to adding skills to your profile, it’s important to not go overboard listing every skill you can think of, instead add valuable transferable skills.
5. Expand Your Network
The whole point of LinkedIn is to grow your professional network and connect with others, this could be your course mates, other students, people within your industry, potential employers or recruiters.
Although, you should refrain from sending every Tom, Dick and Harry a connection request on LinkedIn, you may want to build those all-important contacts to open more doors career wise, but there’s a right and a wrong way to go about it.
If you decide to connect with individuals you haven’t met, consider sending a note with a request explaining who you are and why you’d like to connect.
6. Stay Active
It’s not enough to just set up a LinkedIn profile and never post on it, instead maximise your online presence by being active and posting content.
Just like you would with any other social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, check LinkedIn often, like, comment and share articles and posts to get noticed and involved in conversations.
There are plenty of groups you can join on the platform which are relevant to your chosen industry, along with groups for your university.
No matter what your professional interests are, from photography to marketing, there are going to be groups talking about it.
If you feel up to it, you should create your own content to help boost your profile and begin to build your professional brand, but remember to keep it professional and related to your work or education.
Being active on LinkedIn will help you expand your network, be more visible to your existing network, as well as learn more about the industry you want to enter and help you seek out potential opportunities.
There we have it, everything you need to create a great LinkedIn profile as a student.
We wish you the best of luck with building your profile, and remember to keep it up-to-date at all times!
If you want to become a better student whilst at university, read our post with 8 tips and tricks.
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