Last Thursday, I wrote Part 1 of this short 2-part series on the how-to mechanics of building and updating your LinkedIn profile as a student. This week, I’m jumping into the final steps in an effort to get you going in the right direction. While these two articles only discuss the “how”, I’ll be discussing the “why” in the coming weeks. Stay tuned in by subscribing to our RSS feed here.
With no further ado, here are the final 5 tips to build and update your student LinkedIn profile.
6. Claim a personal URL
This really should have been Step 1, but Step 6 will have to suffice. LinkedIn has made it their mission to be the first result in a Google Search when someone googles your name. You can help this matter along by claiming a personal URL. Sorry, John Smith, but you may have to get a little bit more creative with middle initials.
Assuming you’re on the LinkedIn homepage already: “Profile > Edit Profile” and below your photo (or where your photo should be), there will be a little “Edit” button next to your profile link.
7. Show off your education and volunteering
Here’s your chance, you valedictorian you. Show off how awesome of a student you’ve been. Or perhaps, you’ve been super involved in umpteen organizations and have volunteered at a half-dozen nursing homes and shelters in the last year. Whatever it might be, this is your chance to show off a bit. Include school projects, organizations, and your responsibilities in them. Don’t be shy.
8. Utilize group badges
Okay, so it isn’t just about the badges on your profile. It’s about how you connect with the people in those groups (more on this in the coming weeks). Having the group badges on your profile will show others that you’re connected and also that you’re willing to connect. And your willingness to connect also lends to the idea that you want to learn from other people. And when you want to learn from other people, you don’t look like a know-it-all. See what I’m getting at? People will make assumptions about you. Make the assumptions count.
9. Endorse and be endorsed in return
You’ve spent hours building a detail oriented profile in an attempt to communicate all the value you’ve brought to your past employers and the tremendous amounts of value future employers may expect from you. Now, you need someone to second the motion…figuratively speaking. Endorsements are a bit more informal than recommendations (see Step 10), but they the ability to quickly second the value you’re claiming to have. It’s as simple as clicking “Endorse [this skill]” on someone’s profile. Go out and endorse and reap the reward.
10. Collect (and give) recommendations
Reach out to former managers, co-workers, and colleagues. Ask if they’re willing to write you a recommendation based on your work with them. Actually collecting recommendations can be hit or miss, as whether a former employer writes one depends on whether or not they’re active on LinkedIn. Don’t be discouraged. Stick with it. Yes, these aspects of LinkedIn reinforce the value you’ve stated in your profile, but if one area is slacking, you can be sure to make up for it in another area.
That’s it. Ten steps and one killer LinkedIn profile later, you’re ready to start networking. Check back in the coming weeks for your check sheet to connect and engage with others.
Until then, follow me on Twitter for updates. Cheers ‘til next Thursday.