Are you a college student or recent graduate? Are you using LinkedIn to its full extent? From a profile building perspective LinkedIn is a little bit more difficult to use by college students or graduates. After all – work experience and the related skills are an important part of every LinkedIn profile and if you do not have much to offer in that area, it makes life a bit more difficult. Most of our profile optimization tips still apply to students, but there are some student specific items I would like to talk about here.
Often students seem to disregard the importance of LinkedIn for their job search and career building. LinkedIn is not “a Facebook for old people,” but that message is not often communicated well enough among students.
LinkedIn knows about this problem and has a whole section of their website dedicated to students and recent graduates with lots of tips and tricks related to LinkedIn profiles, job searches, job interviews, and career planning. They even have a “LinkedIn Students” app for Android and Apple IOS smartphones. I just wish they would advertise better so that students and recent grads know about it.
LinkedIn Student Library
LinkedIn also built an extensive library of tip sheets and guides specifically for students. Currently there are 3 guides dedicated to job hunting, 2 guides for how to build a LinkedIn profile, and several individual guides for branding, networking, goal setting, and career planning.
LinkedIn Student Resources
You can find the LinkedIn student resources here:
What else should Students do?
If you are a recent college graduate and struggle to find employment in your field of expertise it is even more important to use LinkedIn to your advantage. Building a network with people you know from college should be a first step. Add parents and friends to your network as well. Go to professional networking events to network and connect with professionals in your field. Then connect on LinkedIn as well. It is very important to start spreading your network connections this way. As a next step think about posting content on LinkedIn as status updates or through LinkedIn Pulse. Make yourself known to your network as somebody who understands the industry, knows about trends, and other important topics. Good content can go a long way and people inside and outside of your network might take notice.