Oct 13

An 11-Point Checklist to Make Sure Your Students’ LinkedIn Profiles Standout

LinkedIn has more than a million and a half student jobs and internships. That’s more than a million chances for career services professionals to succeed in student placement. But these days, it seems like everyone and their sister is on LinkedIn. With so many impressive pages out there, how do you help your students catch the eye of potential employers? Follow these trusted steps to make their profiles pop.

Upload An Appropriate and Professional Headshot

Although this seems basic, you’d be surprised to learn that it’s one of the top mistakes students make on LinkedIn. According to DMR, an online source that provides digital marketing statistics, tips, and news, profiles with a photo get about 11 times more views. As a rule of thumb, tell your students to take a high quality photo when they’re facing the camera and dressed in a business-casual outfit.

Write A Catchy Headline

Avoid generic job titles by having students answer these key questions in their headlines: What do you specialize or excel in? What unique skills do you have? What will you bring to employers? Another atypical approach is to have students mention their aspiration and the reason for it in their headline.

Craft A Short Summary

Employers and recruiters don’t have time to read every summary they come across. This is a student’s chance to standout and make it to the interview stage. It’s important to make sure they write a to-the-point blurb that showcases their most important skills and achievements. Check out this page for some good examples.

Buff Up Each Experience

Help students differentiate their profiles by including what they learned from each work experience. For example, they might write about how tutoring over the summer taught them that they love working with grade-schoolers and are passionate about making a difference in younger student’s lives.

Get Involved With Groups

With thousands to choose from, groups are an underused way to network and expand a student’s knowledge base. To begin, instruct them to type in relevant search words based on their personal and professional interests. They can also check out the “Groups You May Be Interested In” section. This resource can enhance their connections and increase profile views.

Don’t Hesitate to Include Volunteer Experience

Although paid work experience is impressive, volunteer or unpaid positions are important in their own right. According to College Recruiter, “Volunteer work shows future employers that you’re willing to take the initiative and work for causes you believe in.” This adds a unique component to a student’s profile.

Share Examples of Past Projects

Including work that a student has completed in the past adds a visual dimension to his or her profile. They can upload everything from college essays to personal blog posts. Showcasing individual projects and assignments demonstrates tangible skills to any potential employer.

Network, Network, Network

According to Forbes, about 80 percent of available jobs are never advertised. This further demonstrates the importance of networking. Expanding a student’s LinkedIn connections is a vital step in securing future jobs and internships. Have them begin with classmates, friends, and extended family members. Over time, they can invite former professors, employers, and colleagues to connect. See this article for specific strategies to try.

Don’t Ignore Additional Profile Sections

If a student doesn’t have much work experience, they can still standout. In addition to any volunteer positions, make sure to have them include all unpaid jobs, and charities or foundations that they’ve worked with in the past. They can also list honors, recognitions, and prizes that they’ve won (see the “Honors and Awards” section).

Request Recommendations

When a student is feeling more confident about their profile or a recent project, tell them to consider asking an employer to write a recommendation. In general, specifics are better. For example, “Margot’s efficient marketing plan helped us increase sales by 7 percent” shows their network how they shine.

Create a Status Update

A student’s entire network sees updates when they make them, so employers will likely take note. The key to writing a relevant network update is to keep it professional and to the point. Encourage students to make updates each week, whether it’s a helpful online course they’ve completed or a new article they’ve written.

Have your students follow these proven tips and watch their profiles get noticed!

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