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Inside Kendall

LinkedIn for College Students: A Beginner’s Guide

Student in LibraryIt’s never too early to start thinking about your next steps – you may be a college student now, but in a few short years you’ll be launched into a highly competitive job market. Approximately 87% of companies use LinkedIn to find qualified candidates, so eventually you’ll need a terrific profile to grab a recruiter’s attention. Why not start now?

If you’re still a college student don’t wait until you graduate to set up an eye-catching LinkedIn profile. Follow this quick LinkedIn for college students guide for a terrific starting point.

  • Always include a profile picture! Keep it inviting and professional. Wear business attire, and imagine you’re posing for a business card. Don’t go for silly poses, or use an image that isn’t you.
  • Take care to write a summary statement that will grab a reader’s attention. Don’t sell yourself short or jot down the first few sentences that come to mind. Imagine the summary statement as the first paragraph or two of your best cover letter: this is how companies will first get to know you.
  • Remember that there are many sections to help you stand out, even if you have limited job experience. Many recruiters consider volunteer experience as important as job experience. There are also sections where you can detail your extracurricular organizations, honors and awards, internships, and more.
  • Focus on making your network as wide as possible. Most jobs are never posted, and are filled by referrals. In the professional world, who you know truly matters. Try to connect with everyone that has a profile (that you actually know) who may be able to help you land a job in the future, including co-workers, classmates, and family friends who work in relevant industries.
  • Create a unique LinkedIn URL and change your privacy settings to “public” so your LinkedIn profile is one of the top Google search results when someone looks you up. You would rather this page show up at the top than a less professional social media account like your Instagram or Twitter.
  • Request a recommendation from any managers or professors who hold you in high esteem. A well-written recommendation on LinkedIn will boost your credibility and give more context to your skills and abilities in a professional setting.
  • Add examples of your work on your profile! LinkedIn gives you the ability to include links to your work projects, which is especially helpful if you’re a writer or work in a visual medium. Designers and writers can make the process easier for companies looking to hire by including everything they would need to see in one place.

Of course, when you’re a student at Kendall College LinkedIn won’t be your only resource for finding potential jobs. Visit the Career Services Office today to learn how our experts can empower you to achieve your career goals after graduation.

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