How Students Should Use LinkedIn
Of all the popular social media platforms, it would be fair to say that LinkedIn is most popular for professionals and business people. You can use Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends. Twitter is there to voice your opinions to the wider world. Use Instagram to showcase all of the most beautiful and picturesque moments in your life. LinkedIn, however, is the one social media platform that can aid in your pursuit for employment and career advancement. Take a look through our list and find out all of the great ways that students in particular can be using LinkedIn to their advantage.
1. Include A Profile Photo
Some people can be wary of posting pictures of themselves online. When it comes to a LinkedIn profile however, you are going to be much more likely to get attention from a prospective employer if your page is complete in every sense. In just a small way, being able to see a photograph of you will start to build a sense of character and personality behind the colder approach of typing and qualification lists. It helps them to see you as a human rather than an online anonymous identity.
2. Include Examples Of Coursework
LinkedIn is the perfect place to post examples of the very best coursework you have produced during your time in school and college. These pieces can then be looked at by potential employers to allow them to ascertain what your level and standards are. Many students have gained internships and entry level positions in big companies based on the coursework examples that they made available on their LinkedIn profiles. It gives them a sense of your abilities even before you are asked for an initial interview.
3. Include Extra Curricular Activities
Sometimes potential employers want to get a much more three dimensional sense of who you are as a person other than just your academic abilities. To help them with this, you should include a section dedicated to the kinds of things that you like to do outside of education. These might be sports related, arts related, community volunteering or anything in-between. You will be much more likely to catch someone's attention if they notice that you share some similar extra-curricular interests. These can provide some common ground on which to build a professional relationship and a personal connection.
4. Include Recommendations
One of the most popular features of LinkedIn is the opportunity for people to leave you recommendations based on your skills and talents. To make as big of an impression with your prolife as possible, ask teachers and professors to give you positive recommendations based on the things that they personally believe you to be the best at. Things like public speaking, work ethic, team work, team leader and similar can be highlighted in the recommendations feature. All sorts of traits that are valuable skills in the workplace can make you stand out in a busy field of job applicants.
5. Connect With Industry Leaders
Don't be afraid to aim big and request connections with some of the high-profile industry leaders on the site. Any professional who you recognise to be an important figure in the field and sector that you are hoping to move in to is an important connection. It's never a bad thing to reach out and try to get a head start in the networking game.
One final word about making the most of LinkedIn as a student. If you are going to use one social media platform to help you get ahead in your career, don't undo it with your profiles on other platforms. For example, your drunken college party pics should not be on a Facebook account linked to your LinkedIn profile.