If you want to improve your chances of getting a great job after you graduate, you need to start creating an optimized LinkedIn profile while in school.
You see, an optimized LinkedIn profile can help recruiters find you when looking to hire interns or new college grads.
Here are four ways to spice up your LinkedIn profile to get noticed:
1. Ask your professors for recommendations highlighting your skills.
One of the best ways to build credibility is to have professional recommendations on your LinkedIn profile.
When asking for recommendations, make sure you’re specific with what type of recommendation you want. If the person knows you’re skilled in a specific area, ask them to mention that in the recommendation. You don’t want a generic “he/she is a great student” recommendation, but rather one that calls out specific skills you have. Remember, the goal is to show a recruiter about the value you bring to a company.
The more recommendations you have, the more you’ll “stand out” to a potential employer. You just need to start asking to get them.
2. Add media links to show examples of your student projects.
Just because you don’t have a professional portfolio of work yet doesn’t mean you can’t showcase the work you’ve done in college.
Have you ever been published in the college newspaper? Ever interned or donated time to a specific non-profit group? Ever worked on projects for a college organization?
Upload logos of the organizations you’ve worked with and visually show what you’ve done.
You don’t want to just list out your accomplishments like a resume, you want to visually showcase your work on LinkedIn.
- Create a video talking about a project you’ve worked on
- Add images or illustrations of some of your achievements in school
- Upload a PowerPoint into SlideShare and add that link into your LinkedIn profile
Check out these helpful slides to give you some ideas:
3. Join relevant professional groups and display on your profile.
One of the best ways to build relevant connections and get more eyeballs on your LinkedIn profile is to start networking in LinkedIn groups.
There are thousands of different types of professional groups on LinkedIn so start joining groups where professionals you’d like to work with are hanging out. Joining a LinkedIn group will display that group logo on your LinkedIn profile and reveal more about your professional interests with recruiters.
The Harvard Business Review group is filled with professionals discussing articles and sharing insight:
Just make sure to add value when joining these LinkedIn groups – don’t spam or simply post links without thoughtful commentary.
4. Strategically add relevant keywords in your professional headline and throughout your LinkedIn profile.
Your LinkedIn headline is what will appear in the LinkedIn stream when a recruiter is searching out potential new employees. You want to be specific about what you’re looking for to attract the right kind of recruiter.
Your professional headline should reveal your career goal or type of profession you’re interested in (e.g. Computer Science Major, Graduating 2014 interested in Tech Startups in San Francisco).
Use relevant keywords throughout your profile; including in the: “Skills & Expertise” section, “Test Scores” section, and “Courses” section.
How are you going to improve your LinkedIn profile? What suggestions do you have for college students?
- How to Use LinkedIn to Get Your Resume into the Right Hands
- 5 Ways Students Sabotage Their LinkedIn Profile
- How to Build a Strong Alumni Network on LinkedIn
- A Student’s Guide to Creating a Killer LinkedIn Profile
- How LinkedIn Can Help You Choose the Best College for Your Career