This blog is written by our Intern Queen Campus Ambassador, Megan, from Champlain College. She rocks! If you want to write for us email us on our site or comment on this blog!
Creating a professional student LinkedIn profile can be extremely intimidating if you’re new to the online networking scene. It isn’t like Facebook where you have 600 friends ranging from childhood friends to your college friends, as well as any distant relatives who may have looked you up. It isn’t like Twitter where you try to cram your entire day’s activities into 140 characters or less.
You should think of LinkedIn as your resume…online. LinkedIn is a professional networking site, meaning you should be using it to connect with others in your field. If you happen to be a public relations major looking for an awesome internship, connect with your professors! They will already have established relationships with hiring staff at many businesses in your area. If you are in the ‘tech’ industry, add your classmates as well as your professors and other adults you come to know well in the industry. You never know who may have the connection that will lead you to your perfect place of employment!
Here are some quick bullets to help you navigate the intimidating LinkedIn world, and how to avoid those little pitfalls that make the difference between you and another candidate for dream job.
§ Make a catchy yet informative headline: Imagine this. You’re a hiring manager for Business X. You have three weeks to fill a position before your company is left with a gap for this position. You have 40 applicants. Are you more likely to stop and check out someone’s profile that reads “Lookin for a job, yo hit me up asap!” or one that reads “Recent alum of University Y seeking accounting position in the Boston area.”
§ Use an appropriate default picture: Do NOT post the picture of you doing a keg stand from last Saturday night. Grab your friend on a day where the weather is beautiful, and take some nice headshots (shoulders up). Make sure to be wearing business casual attire or something similar to the culture of the industry you are seeking a job in.
§ Show how connected you are with LinkedIn Group badges: Join as many groups as you feel you fit into! These are (1) great ways to meet new people (i.e. new networking connections), and (2) demonstrate what else you are involved in outside of work. Many students start by joining their university’s LinkedIn group as well as the larger industry groups related to the career they want to pursue.
§ Collect recommendations: The more people you can get to validate your awesomeness, the better. Ask previous supervisors, current supervisors, and even professors if they might consider writing a recommendation for you on LinkedIn. Dedication in the classroom can be just as valuable as performance outside of your college or university.
§ Claim your unique LinkedIn URL: Personalize your URL so employers and future connections have an easier time finding you. Once you have done this, you can put your direct URL on your business cards to allow others an easier way to find you!
Be sure that any and all content posted on LinkedIn is professional and appropriate for a workplace setting. This is not the venue for posting racy YouTube videos or posting about how drunk you got the other night. Keep it clean, simple, and to the point.
Good luck creating your professional student LinkedIn profile! Go make some connections!