As a college student, LinkedIn is an incredibly valuable tool to help you build your professional network, boost your resume, and even land your dream job. Here are five ways you can utilize LinkedIn while you’re still taking classes:
1. Create a profile
The first step to leveraging LinkedIn as a college student is to create a profile. Make sure your profile is up-to-date and complete, with a professional profile picture, a headline that accurately reflects you and your skills, and a summary of your experiences and goals. Your profile page can be a great way to present yourself as a complete person (something that is hard to do with just a resume!). Many internship and job applications now request or suggest including a link to your LinkedIn profile, so it is a great idea to have yours prepared and up-to-date.
2. Make connections
Once your profile is set up, start building your network by connecting with peers, professors, and other professionals. The more connections you make, the more you expand your network to include new possible career influences and opportunities! Professional networking can be daunting, but using a platform like LinkedIn makes it easy to connect with new people in your desired industry. Most people on a site like LinkedIn love to hear from college students and will support you as you move towards beginning your career.
3. Get recommendations
Ask your peers and professors to write recommendations for you and add them to your profile. This will help to showcase your skills and build your credibility. Make your list of skills relevant to your desired job or career, and draw from your past experiences for inspiration. Remember that your LinkedIn profile is for where you want to go next in your career, so make sure that all aspects of your profile—including the skills section—reflect that.
4. Use your profile for job searching
You can use LinkedIn to find internships, jobs, and networking opportunities related to your field. If you ensure your profile is updated regularly, keep an eye out for new postings that might be applicable to you. LinkedIn can be a great resource for job searching or finding your next dream internship. Don’t underestimate the value of reaching out to a recruiter or applying to a position you may think you’re under qualified for. You never know what could happen!
5. Cultivate your feed
Follow companies that you are interested in, and stay up-to-date on their news and activities. This will help you to stay informed and get a better understanding of the industry. There are also thousands of LinkedIn groups you can request to join that are related to your field of study and interests. By staying active on LinkedIn and liking posts by your favorite companies, groups, and your connections, you increase your visibility and industry knowledge.
By taking advantage of these five tips, you can start leveraging LinkedIn to build your professional network and increase your chances of success in the job market. While you’re there, make sure to check out Patrick Henry College’s LinkedIn page, where we post regularly and feature current students, faculty, alumni, and important upcoming events. Good luck!
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