LinkedIn is no longer an online resume, it’s indeed your digital reputation. And none the less we all know that this is not an information age. It’s an age of networked intelligence and for that, the best platform for a “connect” is LinkedIn as of now.
LinkedIn is a social networking site designed specifically for the business community but it doesn’t stop there. It gives every hustler, be it a professional or a beginner a proper medium to be able to present whatever they have to the world. The goal of the site is to allow registered members to establish and document networks of people they know and trust professionally.
Having a profile on LinkedIn is very important and significant in today’s time. And the reasons can be stated in points for a better understanding-
To build a strong network of professional contacts
Getting ahead in any career is as much about who you know, as it is about what you know. Start by connecting with your peers and your university lecturers, then branch out into the industry that you want to work in. You never know when a connection will come in handy and the bigger your network, the more chance you have of being referred to a job role.
To get job alerts
While LinkedIn is about much more than just searching for jobs, it is still incredibly useful when it comes to finding your next position – which makes LinkedIn particularly useful for students. You can program LinkedIn to send you job alerts for certain companies, industries or specific job titles so that you’ll never miss out on a great opportunity again.
Let the companies find you, do research on companies
These days, when you apply for a job, your prospective employer will no doubt conduct an internet search into you. Students often get a bad rap over their social media presence, so by having a LinkedIn account as a student, you can show an entirely different (and more professional!) side to yourself. Having a LinkedIn account allow companies to find you with ease and, most importantly, to find the information that you want them to find.
Prepare for interviews
Interviews are always nerve-wracking but by having an account on LinkedIn, you can conduct your own research into the company, and the employer, so that you can go into your interview feeling as prepared as possible.
To prove your dedication
Having a LinkedIn account as a student proves that you are dedicated to pursuing a career. By being specific in your summary and connecting with people in the field that you’d like to end up in, you prove that you’re putting in the time and effort required to succeed in your chosen career.
Get referrals, internships, and jobs
Networking is all about who you know and who those people know. If there is someone on LinkedIn that you would like to meet, ask a mutual acquaintance for an introduction. And also if there is a company that you would like to work for or an internship that interests you? LinkedIn can help you find a common connection to someone at that place of business.
Gain connections from conference attendees.
When you meet new acquaintances at a conference that you attend as a student, chances are you do not have a business card to share. Nor do other students. LinkedIn is the perfect place to maintain a connection to those people once you have returned back to school.
Share updates with others
When you update your LinkedIn profile or experiences, your network is automatically informed about these changes. You don’t have to send out individual e-mails to everybody. A nice side benefit is that this automatic notification brings you to their attention and awareness. Then, you will be on their mind when they learn about job possibilities that fit your qualifications.
Extend your resume
Many companies prefer receiving one-page resumes. That’s not room for a lot of information. LinkedIn provides a place to have more in-depth information than what a short resume can ever hope to provide. Put your LinkedIn profile URL on your resume (and business cards). Future employers can then find more information about you on LinkedIn.
Now coming to what should undergraduates put in their profiles to attract a bigger and effective crowd, forming a network of connections-
The Basics of Your LinkedIn for a Student’s Profile-
While there is a lot you can put into your LinkedIn profile, this podcast summary will focus on the bare minimum of things that you should have set up if you want to begin using LinkedIn as a powerful branding and networking vehicle.
Finally, when you first create your profile, or when you edit it as you read through this blog post, there are at a minimum a few things that you need:
- Your Name (keep it real)
- Your profile photo (keep it as professional as possible)
- Your Professional Headline (see below for advice)
- Your Zipcode / Location (see below for advice)
- The Industry in Which You Work (see below for advice)
Choose a professional photo
Profiles with photos get 14 times more views on LinkedIn. Some recruiters won’t even consider your profile if you don’t have a photo because it gives the impression that you don’t care. Choose a recent headshot with a neutral background.
Write a catchy headline and summary
The headline is your chance to tell who you are and what you’re looking for. Try something like: ‘Marketing student seeking a social media internship’ or ‘Health management student aspiring to be a leader in health’. Get into more details in the summary, but keep it short and punchy. Avoid overused clichés like the words ‘motivated’ and ‘passionate’. LinkedIn profiles are searchable, so think about using the right keywords for your industry.
Experience is more than just work
Any relevant work experience, internship, and volunteer work should be the first things you list. But also add other information that will make you stand out like your education, the classes you took, the languages you speak, your certifications, etc. Ask your connections to endorse your skills and write your recommendations. Your profile will get 13 times more views if you include skills. You can literally draw attention to your LinkedIn profile by asking your network to endorse your skills.
Show your knowledge and interest
Build influence by repurposing your essays into blog posts, writing about your projects, posting interesting articles and commenting on topics relevant to your industry. Interact with your connections, LinkedIn is not just an online resume; it’s a professional social network.
Connect the right way
Connect with your teachers, classmates, and colleagues. Take the time to write a short personalized message when you add a new connection. You can request an introduction to a new connection if you have someone in common. Use the alumni tool to search for graduates from your uni who have your dream job. Get in touch with them to get advice.
Searching Company Profiles
LinkedIn company profiles are a good way to find more information on companies in which you have an interest. You’ll be able to see if you have any connections at the company, new hires, promotions, jobs posted, related companies, and company statistics.
Utilize all the areas that are relevant
List volunteer experience. If you’ve received honors or awards, list them in the appropriate section. If you’ve been published, include a link. Add your education, including majors, minors, study abroad, online and summer programs. Add any certifications, projects, courses outside your major, any other languages you’re fluent in, organizations you belong to, and skills you have.
Spelling and grammar mistakes will immediately disqualify you for consideration for pretty much any job or internship out there.
LinkedIn has a good deal to offer students. However, before you create your profile, make sure you are ready. It’s important to stay engaged and act in a professional business manner. Once on, LinkedIn can be critical for students wanting to get ahead. Remember, always stay updated and avoid scams. Use LinkedIn properly and it will be your advantage and the right key is what you need to be successful. LinkedIn is the golden key, to every lockout there, grab it and get a hold of it, this is everything that I have to say about it. So start early and begin raising the bar.
Happy Linking folks!
Content: Sanya Raghuwanshi
Graphics: Pradatta Nigamanshu