Student Job Seekers: Tips to Building the Perfect LinkedIn Profile

November 14, 2016

Between studying for exams, searching for jobs and figuring out your next step, being a student can be stressful. While adding one more thing to your to-do list can seem daunting, making your LinkedIn profile stand out is not only incredibly important to your professional brand and finding job opportunities, it’s also simple and can be done in minutes.

Just how important is it? Well, 9 out of 10 recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates*, and 75% of hiring managers look at LinkedIn profiles before deciding on a hire.

Here are five quick ways to make your profile stand out:

1. Add a photo to be instantly recognized

Your photo helps people recognize you and also gives your profile legitimacy, so don’t bypass this step. It doesn’t need to be fancy--you can even take a selfie on your phone and upload directly to your profile.

Remember though, your future employer will see that photo, so make sure you put your best foot forward by dressing appropriately (no need for a suit, but wear something you’d feel comfortable going to the office in) and not having your pet or friends in the image. Save those photos for your other profiles!

Having a picture really does make a difference - members who include a photo receive up to 21x more profile views and up to 36x more messages. This means you’re more likely to be discovered by recruiters and others that can help you land a job!

2. Highlight your education (and any experience you’ve got so far!)

Your education and the topics you’ve mastered go a long way in showing who you are and what you know. No need to hold back - in addition to your school and major, you can also add sections for your courses, scores, organizations, honors and awards and more.

No need to be intimidated if you haven’t had a bunch of professional experience! Your experience section can include part-time positions, summer jobs, internships and volunteer work — all of which go a long way in showing your skills and getting you in front of potential employers.

You can also include writing samples, design work and more to your profile. What better way to show what you can do than with real examples?

3. Highlight your skills to get endorsements and recommendations

Whether in courses or through work experience, you’ve no doubt gained some relevant workplace skills. Don’t fret if you’re not an expert coder or marketing whiz: soft skills like communication, critical thinking and teamwork are just as important as hard skills--if not more.

Be sure to add the top skills you want to be recognized for to your profile, and we’ll do the work of getting them in front of the right people who can endorse you. Tip: we recently released our list of most and least sought-after soft skills - highlight the ones you have!

  • endorse

4. Use your Summary to show who you are

Your profile shouldn’t just be a laundry list of your courses and experience. Show some personality and share what you’re passionate about. The summary section is the perfect place to do this -- in fact, nearly 87% of recruiters are looking for personality.

Think of this as your elevator pitch--concisely share your qualifications, skills, goals and what makes you unique. Don’t be afraid to be enthusiastic and bold. For example, you might start your summary with: “I’m a budding journalist who can hit the ground running in a newsroom.”

5. Post updates and engage

Keep your LinkedIn profile fresh and discoverable to potential employers by regularly posting updates, sharing articles, and writing content on topics you know about, and see who’s seeing your posts. This can get you in front of the people who matter to your career path and start conversations.

Tip: Check out this 30-minute LinkedIn Learning course, which provides tips for young professionals on writing winning topics and best practices for building your brand.

We’re here to help you every step of the way. With more than 6 million active job listings, take time to browse our jobs (including millions of entry-level jobs and internships), and get started on planning your future. Your LinkedIn profile is the first part of your journey, so make sure you always look your best.

*The Jobvite Recruiter Nation Survey