How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile as a Student to Get Jobs

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Optimizing your LinkedIn profile as a student can give you an edge over other students who don't. Research shows that there are more than 40 million students and recent college graduates on LinkedIn. And with more than 55 million companies listed on the platform, LinkedIn is a great place to make career-advancing connections in this digital world. Therefore creating an effective LinkedIn profile is the best way to put yourself ahead of the job-seeking hordes. It gives an exceptional opportunity to college students because LinkedIn lets you establish your professional qualities to employers even if you do not have a lot of career experience.

With that said, here are some basic tips for optimizing your LinkedIn profile as a student.

Why do You Need A LinkedIn Profile As A Student?

According to Holly Coffin director of employer relations and internships at Elmhurst University “If you are not on LinkedIn, you are missing out on the greatest networking tool for career success,” Furthermore, students are the fastest growing demography on the site according to a LinkedIn research.

Having a LinkedIn presence is a way of making recruiters aware of your achievements, skills and other projects you are involved in. And since the majority of recruiters use LinkedIn as a sourcing tool to find candidates to fill positions, maintaining and optimizing your LinkedIn profile as a student could allow a great new job opportunity to come right to you.

LinkedIn is an invaluable resource for students and it can help them:

  • Build professional networks and contacts
  • Get job alerts
  • Let companies and other organizations find you
  • Expose you to interview and other job-related skills
  • Showcase your talent
  • Take courses

Read More: How to Search for Remote Jobs on LinkedIn

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile as a Student

1. Choose a Professional Photo

Statistics show that having a picture on your LinkedIn profile is 14 times more likely to be viewed by others. Like other social media platforms, people engage more with users with a complete profile which includes a profile picture. Having your profile picture displayed on your LinkedIn profile section will give you an edge over people that don't.  Companies and organizations trust users whose pictures are displayed more than those who don't. This will display your professionalism and organizational skill. Not having a profile picture can be a turnoff to employers and they might not even view your profile. Take a medium close-up photo with good lighting. Wear a professional or corporate outfit. Take pictures on a plain background (preferable to a white background). You can also use Linkedin filters to enhance your picture quality and maintain a professional look.


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2. Write a Catchy Headline

The headline is your chance to tell who you are and what you’re looking for. A chance to tell people what you’re pursuing and what you want to do in the future.  Try something like: “An International relations student seeking an internship in a reputable international organization ” or “a digital marketing student aspiring to be a social media marketer”.  You can get into more details about this in the summary section. LinkedIn profiles are searchable, so think about using the right keywords for your industry.

3. Write a professional Summary

Write a short, but creative and attention-grabbing summary to demonstrate your personality and how well you understand the field you want to work in. This should include a little bit about who you are and what you hope to accomplish professionally. You might also want to use relevant industry keywords and phrases that recruiters might search for. For example:

"A third-year digital marketing student at the University of West Indies with an interest in email marketing, social media advertising and content marketing. Seeking an internship to apply my skills in a company to help promote their brand and product through developing marketing plans, email marketing, social media advertising and conducting customer research".

Specialties

  • Social media management
  • Email marketing
  • Social media advertising
  • Adobe Photoshop and illustrator
  • Adobe premiere pro

Remember to add relevant keywords in your summary. This will make it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to find you in search results.

4. Show off your Education.

This section is to showcase all the schools and colleges you’ve attended or are currently enrolled in with descriptions and activities you participated in. Adding college names to your LinkedIn profile helps you find college alumni and friends available on LinkedIn. This way you can easily look at alumni's profiles and how they structure their profiles. You can also connect with them and keep in touch with them. When adding your education, it is important to include all the activities, clubs and organizations you are part of to show your involvement in extracurricular activities. Leadership positions are highly valuable to recruiters. Include any leadership position you took, sports involvement, and other valuable roles.

5. Emphasize your experience and skills

Experience and relevant skills are very important to recruiters and employers. Having experience or voluntary work shows your level of commitment and advancement in your related industry. This will give you an edge over others in the same industry without those experience. Adding relevant work experience, internship and volunteer work will attract recruiters to your profile. Add languages that you speak, certifications, and other relevant information that will attract the recruiter. LinkedIn allows you to add a maximum of 50 skills. But, I recommend you to fill the entries only with the skills you want to be found for. Research shows that your profile will get 13 times more views if you include skills. 

6. Get Endorsement and Recommendations

Another tip for optimizing your LinkedIn profile is by asking your connections to endorse your skills and write you recommendations. Getting recommendations and endorsements on your profile cements the claims you made about your abilities and skills. Employers always seek to know what others think about you and your skills. So, adding recommendations from genuine and higher officials of an organization enhances your profile and builds trust in the eyes of employers.

You can request a recommendation and skill endorsements on your profile from your professors, project manager, and internship supervisors. This way you can build credibility with your profile visitors and employers.

7. Create a unique URL.

Optimizing your LinkedIn profile as a student
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A unique and customized LinkedIn profile is better and easy to share unlike the random numbers and alphabet assigned to your profile by LinkedIn. A rule of thumb is to include both your first and last name in your profile URL. Make it short and unique to make it easier to remember and share. This makes it easier for recruiters to find you, and increase your visibility. Having a customized URL for your profile increase the probability of appearance in search result with keywords of your name.

8. Show your knowledge and interest

Building influence by repurposing your essays into blog posts, writing about your projects, posting interesting articles, and commenting on topics relevant to your industry gives you an edge over other students who are not doing it. Interact with your connections, LinkedIn is not just an online resume; it’s a professional social network.

College Student Summary Example for LinkedIn

Optimizing your LinkedIn profile as a student
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1. An example of a student studying finance in College

I am currently a third-year finance major at Dublin Business School who hopes to pursue a master's degree at the Harvard Business School next year. After interning at Dee Accountancy Firm,  I have shifted my educational focus to financial accounting and real-world business solutions. I excel when working in collaborative groups to solve financial problems.
Dublin is my favourite place in the world. I am originally from England and always loved taking trips down to Ireland. I always knew I’d study finance at Dublin Business school, the best place to study finance in the country. My four-year plan includes becoming a financial advisor for high-profile clients in Dublin and the United States. My education in Dublin has prepared me for a long career in helping people manage their money successfully.

2. An example of a 2nd-year student studying marketing

A second-year marketing student at the University of West Indies with an interest in marketing analytics, digital marketing and advertisement. Seeking an internship to apply my skills in a company to help promote their brand and product through developing marketing plans, email marketing, social media advertising and conducting customer research.

Specialties

  • Social media management
  • marketing analytics
  • Email marketing
  • Social media advertising
  • Adobe Photoshop and illustrator
  • Adobe premiere pro

3. Linkined Summary for students with no experience

A Second-year Political Science student, future ambassador. My passion for Politics brought me to the London School of Economics and Political Science, where I am currently working on my BA in Political Science. Last semester I completed the Foundation program, which covers the introduction to Political Science, International Relations and Development.
The most valuable lesson I have learned from the London School of Economics and Political Science has been the importance of Political Science before moving into other parts of Political Science. Even though I knew I wanted to be an ambassador, I have enjoyed getting involved with various groups and organizations exhibiting my leadership skills. My class in leadership and development has provided me with great insights for a future career in Political Science.
This year I have learnt about different international organizations, and international relations theories and attended different leadership seminars and workshops. I continue to build skills in communication and leadership by taking up some leadership positions in my department and Faculty. Next year, I hope to start an internship that will provide real-life experience and important leadership and communication skills.

Conclusion

LinkedIn is a great professional social media platform for every student from every niche to establish their online presence and showcase their talent. Linkedin is a great way to connect with the professional environment while still in college or high school. This will give you an edge over those that are not on the platform. By engaging with the platform and connecting with various professional groups, You are able to establish yourself as a professional who is serious about your career. Now that you know what to do to optimize your LinkedIn profile as a student, now it's time to implement these tips while creating your LinkedIn profile and creating a presence among the world’s top professionals.


Opeyemi Olagoke
Opeyemi Olagokehttps://woculus.com/
Olagoke Opeyemi Dare is a writer, digital marketer, and researcher with over 2 years of experience as a researcher. He is currently an intern at Spark Connect where he focuses on the fundamentals of digital marketing, social media marketing, and copywriting. He has written different articles and papers for various blogs and academic research projects respectively.

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