By: Tony Li
LinkedIn has been the most effective place to network for both employers and candidates. Whether you are a college student seeking an internship or the CEO of a global company, having and maintaining a network can help advance your career. As a student who has utilized LinkedIn frequently to build their network, here are my five tips for students to make a good impression with their LinkedIn profile.
- Choose a professional photo
Choose a clear, friendly, and appropriately professional image to use. If you ever aren’t sure what “appropriately professional” means, look around at what the people in your target company, industry sector, or business level are wearing. Different industries and professionals will have different styles and types of pictures. Regardless of the image you select, having a profile photo helps increase your likelihood of being noticed and when networking, sometimes a single click is all you need.
2. Write a concise summary
Many people ignore the summary section when creating their profiles. However, especially when you are searching for opportunities, it is crucial to have a summary that shows a bit about who you are, what you’re looking for, and what you can bring to the table. You can write about your skills, experiences, targeted industry or even a few relevant classes. Bring your own style and flair, just be sure to show whom you are and what are you looking for.
- Quantify your experience, just like your resume!
Much like your resume, you will want to highlight past results throughout your profile and in your summary. When possible, include numbers and results that prove success. It’s easier for people to read numbers when quickly skimming, and numbers can also add more credibility to your achievements or skills. There’s a difference between “leading a team” and “leading a team of 10 to complete industry analysis”.
- Request recommendations
When someone says, “You did a great job on that project!” ask if they would be willing to highlight that by writing you a recommendation on LinkedIn. This is easy to take with you and allows them to serve as a sort of “reference” throughout your career journey. If there is something you are particularly proud of, don’t be afraid to specify what you’d like the recommendation to focus on.
- Add education, license & certifications, and volunteer experience.
All sections can bring value on LinkedIn, and sometimes as college students, there can be a struggle to have a robust experience section. By focusing on relevant classes, additional certifications you’ve sought out, and ways you’ve built your skills (volunteer experiences, projects, etc.), you can make your profile more solid. In fact, most recruiters report viewing volunteer experiences equally as valuable as work experiences. The goal of your LinkedIn should be to highlight yourself, so use all available sections and means to do so!
Also, don’t forget, if you want your LinkedIn profile reviewed, we are always available for Career walk ins, Monday-Friday from 10am-4pm! Come swing by and request a quick review!