How to keep your LinkedIn profile fresh while in college
Social media never sleeps. When it comes to LinkedIn, this means your resume is always active. Whether you’re a student who’s actively hunting for an internship, part-time job or post-grad career, you can’t afford to let your profile slip. Even if you’re not ready to start your search, recruiters could be scoping out new grads, like yourself. It’s important to keep your LinkedIn profile up to date during your studies. Here are six quick tips to help keep your profile current during college.
Upload a “professional” photo
Fact: LinkedIn profiles with a photo get 14 times more views that those that don’t. While your Facebook and Instagram photos might scream “fun,” LinkedIn should display a more modest version of yourself. Even if you don’t have a professional headshot, you can quickly suit up and take one. Ensure your photo does not feature eating, drinking or partying. Your photo should be a head shot only, facing forward in work attire. Remember to smile!
Update your headline
Consider the headline section to be your personal slogan. In just a few words, it explains to recruiters what your current situation is, and where you aspire to be. Ideally, it should reflect your current student status, and the career you aspire to hold. Some examples may include, “Hospitality Management student seeking customer service roles,” or “New grad in Development Services looking for a nursing home career.”
Expand on your headline in the summary section
Unlike your headline, the summary section of LinkedIn gives you more room for writing. Describe your current situation in this section, and your skills. With confidence, talk about what makes you great. This is a great area to highlight some of your soft skills, such as teamwork, leadership, communications and more. This section also contributes to your search results on LinkedIn, so ensure that you include relevant industry keywords related to your field.
Detail your work experience
As a student, your current work experience may be limited. This is why you need to include as many details as possible about each position. Simply listing your job title and employer won’t give recruiters enough information. You don’t necessarily have to write as many details as you did on your printed resume, but each position description should give readers an overview of your responsibilities in each role, as well as any significant achievements.
Include volunteer experience, if applicable
You may not have any work experience, but volunteer experience counts, too! If you have held, or continue to hold, any unpaid positions, include these on LinkedIn. There is a section specifically for volunteer positions in your profile, and recruiters notoriously check it, especially among students with limited work experience. Describe your volunteer positions and duties in the same way that you would other work experience, as described above.