LinkedIn for me is like unknown territory. It’s like trying a new makeup brand. Lectures told me time and time again to create a profile so naturally I did.

After exploring the site further I can see why it is important, especially for students looking to communicate with the community and engage with professionals and other students. No word of a lie, my LinkedIn profile isn’t five star yet but these tips and advice that I am about to share with you may come in useful for the both of us.

Create A Killer Profile – LinkedIn acts as an online CV. It is a place to show off your qualifications, experience, skills and achievement but also your future aspirations. It’s one of the first chances for you to make a good impression with a future colleague so it is important to keep it organised and up to date with clear, informative information about your experiences. Academic tutors and previous/current employers are able to recommend you and your skills.

Use Keywords – Keywords are a great for getting recognised by your future employers. Have a look at the job descriptions of positions that interest you and use the keywords that stand out in those descriptions. Use words and phrases throughout your profile. I keep a Word document with all the powerful words and phrases so I can use them when writing a cover letter too, it makes applying for jobs a lot easier and quicker.

Subject Groups – Joining groups related to your subject can help you gain a better understanding of your career choices. You can share ideas with with others and get advice from industry professionals. Ask questions, read the related articles shared by other people in the group; trust me it will help you.

People Of Interest – LinkedIn members are going to connect with you if there is a common interest between you and that other person whether that is being a current or previous student at the same University or sharing the same group interest. You can identify job titles early on as well as currently recruiting companies in your sector. If connecting with a professional you will be able to gain a better understanding of the job role and other career pathways that might interest you. This can also work the other way where they are able to recognise your talents and keep up to date on your achievements.

Check And Update – LinkedIn has been created for professional networking. Think about how you want to present yourself. Use the correct language and tone for your profile and posts in groups, check your spelling and grammatical errors like you would on a traditional CV and keep your profile updated. Your profile picture is the first thing that shows up on your profile. People with no faces are put at the bottom of the search results so you will be at a huge disadvantage but at the same time keep your profile picture professional. You don’t want any drunken accidents of you up against a lamp post for future employers to see but you also don’t want that same picture you had as your Facebook profile in 2009.

LinkedIn can be extremely helpful for students, not just employers and current professionals. What are your tips or advice for creating an amazing LinkedIn profile. I would love to know your opinions. Please feel free to leave a comment or tweet me.