Chapter 6 - All about LinkedIn: The Collegiate Version


“How am I going to find a job?” “ How can I find internships?” “How can I keep a check on hiring companies?” - These are some of the questions that keep ringing in the mind of every college student, whether he/she is a fresher or a senior.

LinkedIn - an invaluable resource is a one-stop solution for all these questions and goes even beyond. It is one of the leading social networking apps that helps one to connect with professionals all around the globe and hence, is more geared towards professionalism unlike Instagram, Facebook, etc. It is really helpful for job/internship search, strengthening connections, and building one’s professional reputation if used the right way.

Thus, this month’s blog revolves around the importance of LinkedIn and everything else one needs to know about it as a college student. Let’s dive right into it!

1. Importance of LinkedIn

It is no longer enough to simply have a solid resume…students now need a professional online presence as well to get noticed and be a step ahead of others. LinkedIn is the only platform that can help a student with the same as it helps one in building their own personal and professional brand & showcases their experience and area of expertise at a global platform.

Some of the reasons why every student should be on LinkedIn are:

  • Networking
  • Making connections is always important in the corporate sector. By connecting with suitable companies, peers, and prominent people on Linkedin, you can strengthen your networking connection, keep a check on what is happening in the corporate world and grab opportunities you find good for yourself.

  • Finding Internships
  • With the surplus increase in competition, it is always advised to do internships in college. Doing internships not only develops the working skills of an individual but also proves to be a point of attraction on CVs. Linkedin helps an individual to find authentic internships related to their interests by giving them a platform to connect with the recruiters.

  • Finding Placement Opportunities
  • LinkedIn as a social media platform makes it very convenient for you to find placement opportunities worldwide. You can follow certain companies and keep an eye on the job opportunities provided by them. You can also program LinkedIn to send job alerts for specific companies and job positions via email which makes it easier to find a job of your interest.

  • Be Seen
  • Having a professional and well-maintained LinkedIn profile allows companies to find you with ease and helps them discover relevant information about you. You can take full advantage of your LinkedIn account by maintaining it appropriately to be noticed for your target job/internship opportunities. You can also mention the skills required for the job you are willing to apply for.

    2. Using LinkedIn as a College Student

    All it takes to sign up with Linkedin is your first and last name, your email address, and a password, like any other social media handle. After that, it is very important to develop your LinkedIn profile and maintain it. When you first create your profile, there are at a minimum a few things you need to add to make it a good one. These are:

  • A Professional photo
  • The display picture which you select for your LinkedIn account should be professional and not casual or inappropriate. Your picture creates the first impression on anyone going through your profile and hence, it is suggested to keep it as professional as possible. It is advisable to use pictures taken in natural light and in a professional attire rather than using selfies or pictures with a lot of filters.

  • Professional Headline
  • The next thing on your profile is a headline. It should be short and crisp. It should mention your current working status, that is, your current internships if you are doing any and the subjects you are pursuing a degree in. Keep it narrow and clear so that it can attract the right type of connections to your LinkedIn account.

  • Profile summary
  • Your profile summary describes you as an individual and hence, should give an overview of your professional life compactly. It should be written concisely in the first person and for your target audience. You should highlight your achievements and accomplishments and try to summarize them in a short but effective form using appropriate and formal language.

  • Background
  • LinkedIn provides a background section where you can list your experiences such as internships, educational qualifications, and volunteer experiences. You can utilize this platform by mentioning your previous experiences and educational institutions which also enables you to connect with people who have attended your institution.

  • Skills/Accomplishments
  • The skills and endorsement section on Linkedin lets you list your top skills to enhance your profile and attract potential employers. A detailed skills section can help in increasing your profile visits thereby increasing your chances of getting noticed for a particular job/internship opportunity. In the accomplishments section, you can mention your publications, courses, and feature the recognition you have earned.

    3. How to make an All-Star profile – Tips and tricks

    According to LinkedIn, an All-Star profile is 40 times more likely to receive opportunities on the platform. This is how you can make one and move one step closer to your desired opportunity.

  • Choose a professional profile picture - As discussed before, your profile picture plays an important role as it is your first impression. To make sure that your profile looks genuine, you have to upload a high-quality professional profile picture maintaining the dress code. Do not upload a group picture or a selfie
  • Headline- This is the first impression you would make while introducing yourself. Include keywords in the headline so that your profile appears in more searches.
  • Customized URL-Customized URL is a great tool for personal branding. It can be used on your public profiles which will make it easy to locate your profile.
  • Perfect summary-According to your profile, LinkedIn provides an automated summary but you can write one on your own as well. Make sure you introduce yourself professionally and include information like the course you are pursuing, college/ university, fields of interest, your current work, and the kinds of opportunities you’re open to.
  • Work experience- In the experience section mention your current position in any college society, volunteering experiences, personal projects, and internships. Each position must be followed by a summary mentioning the responsibilities and achievements.
  • Skills and endorsements-To achieve an All-Star profile you must have at least 5 skills listed. This section allows you to showcase your specialization and get it endorsed by other LinkedIn members which will increase your credibility.
  • Determined group selections-You need at least 50 connections for attaining an All-Star profile. Connect with your batch-mates and peers. Try to connect with people who can help you or guide you at some level. Connect with experts of the industry, field, company, or passion that you’re interested in.
  • 4. Do’s and Don’ts-

    As a college student and a new LinkedIn user, the platform might seem daunting but with time and experience, it becomes easy. Here are some do’s and don'ts of LinkedIn that will help you gain more connections and make your LinkedIn profile more noticeable to recruiters and fellow professionals as a newbie.

  • Be selective about who you connect with
  • Back in the day, it was assumed that connecting with anybody and everyone was the best approach to develop your LinkedIn following. That is no longer the case. You should choose your relationships carefully and slowly expand your network and make strategic contacts.

  • Keep an eye on your profile views
  • Keeping track of your profile views is a great method to see how well your posts are doing. You don't have to connect with people who read your profile right away (you don't want to appear needy), so save your followers for people who engage with your content.

  • Be active on LinkedIn
  • Post content regularly. You have the option of creating your own postings or reposting other people's messages on your LinkedIn feed. This habit will help you become more familiar with your LinkedIn network and help you form a circle of people who share your professional interests. Similarly, to promote personal interactions, make it a habit to comment on posts.

  • Don’t be shy, ask for recommendations
  • It's quite acceptable to request recommendations on LinkedIn. If you've worked with someone and done a good job, they'll gladly lend you a hand. Only first-level connections can give you recommendations, so make sure you do that first.

  • Don’t forget to reply to posts and comments
  • It's also crucial to leave comments on recent postings and respond to comments left on your posts as quickly as possible, just like it's important to respond to emails promptly. Make sure your LinkedIn app has notifications turned on so you don't forget to respond to new articles and comments.

  • Don’t get stage fright
  • It's easy to be intimidated by LinkedIn. Putting out information for potential customers is one thing; the anxiety of being judged by your peers is another. All you have to do now is be brave. Concentrate on your aims and goals. Don't waste time thinking about your competitors because they aren't your customers.