How Can Students Build Their Professional Network On LinkedIn?

by Prasant on August 11, 2021

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All these years LinkedIn has been touted as a network for working professionals. Though I think college students who would be launching themselves soon in the market should give it a serious try too. LinkedIn is not only about finding jobs but it is also about building your professional network that students should be doing. So as a student, if you are really excited to build your network on LinkedIn, then don’t forget to incorporate the following features with your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn For Students

 

Complete Your Profile

A profile is your identity so make it complete and real. Having incomplete profile leaves a lack of sincerity mark and pushes you down on the search too. So don’t leave it partially complete. LinkedIn provides the percentage of completeness beside your profile which one can refer to easily. LinkedIn has recently added a new powerful feature associated to profiles - ‘Improve your Profile’. It suggests you the area in which improvement is required.

 

Improve Your Profile

Connect to People

Connecting to people is required but don’t be in a mad rush to add people. Start with known people such as your college friends, teachers, etc. Find out your college alumni who are on LinkedIn, get in touch and add them to your community. This will benefit you in interacting with people who are already in the industry, talk to them about their work profile, company and with time you can ask them for suitable opportunities. Connecting with consultants would be a great option too and for that the LinkedIn Search is very effective.

 

Tip: Make sure that when you send an invite add a small note stating why you would like to get connected. This really helps compared to random connection requests.

 

Engage with your Network

Once you have built your network, you can either engage with them or keep on adding more contacts. Adding more will only increase your connection numbers but won’t give you any value for it. So start engaging with a few initially on the LinkedIn wall. Observe what people are talking and you can be a part of the conversation.

 

Tip: Engaging regularly with a bunch of people initially will strengthen your relationship and this will help you going further. As people share things with people whom they trust and trust builds on the nature of your relationship.

 

Highlight Your Skills

Skills and Expertise is another feature that makes your profile sharp. As students one can highlight his/her skills which will help them to be found by likeminded people. For e.g. If you are a computer engineering student, then you would save your key skills with the years of exposure to it. Once you do this if recruiters are looking for people with your skillset, then chances are that you would rank high on the search. As a student you can go and search people with skills that interest you so that you can connect and create a relationship. If you are a student who is doing his or her final year project then you can also use Skills and Expertise to search people and get guidance. So make sure that you use this feature in LinkedIn which is really a powerful one.

 

Your Skills

Get Recommendations

Recommendations really work to give your profile the extra mileage. For e.g. if I am a recruiter and I get two profiles from LinkedIn, then chances are more that I will be attracted to a profile that has worthy recommendations. So use this feature and ask your professors, college seniors, project guides, fellow students for recommendation.

Tip: When you ask for recommendation, then do specify the areas that they should look into. For e.g. if it is a project guide, then you can ask that the recommendation should focus on the project and project specific knowledge. If it is from a project partner, then the recommendation should highlight your qualities as a team player, etc.

 

Join Groups

LinkedIn Groups are the biggest source of engagement on LinkedIn. There are different types of groups focusing on different niche areas. Don’t join too many groups at the beginning and add four to five groups of your interest as adding more make will make it difficult to manage. If you are passionate about photography, then you have groups such as Photography for Industry Professionals. Apart from this, there are various groups dedicated to jobs. So go ahead join a few, follow them, connect and take part in discussions.

Join Answers

Like Groups, Answers give a huge opportunity of engagement on LinkedIn. Answers, is a LinkedIn feature where LinkedIn members ask questions to fellow members on various professional topics. So as a student one can follow questions that are of interest. Providing a correct answer will not only vouch you as an expert but also will allow you to connect with people. Recently I had asked a Question about a new feature of LinkedIn. Not only did I get valuable information from experts but also got a chance to connect with likeminded people. So don’t avoid Answers thinking it won’t be helpful.

Follow Companies

Company Page is like brand or business pages on LinkedIn. Following your dream company page is a great resource for students. For e.g. my dream company to work for is Dell. So I can search company page of Dell and follow it. Following a company page will update me with latest news, career opportunities, follow tweets, blogs and above all gives an opportunity to connect with employees too. LinkedIn will also suggest if I know someone in the company from my contacts. Apart from this, I can search and connect with people with my interests obviously specifying the purpose.

Use Apps

LinkedIn has a section of really cool apps and one of them is the Box.net. Box.net allows you to store your files and you can store your resume and cover letter. This will help people to see quickly and connect with you if they require without wasting time waiting for email replies.

Tip: Make sure that you keep an updated CV.

 

LinkedIn is an amazing platform to build a professional profile and students who will jump into the market tomorrow should be thinking about it seriously. However results won’t come in a week or two but with continuous efforts one will benefit.

Prasant

Co-Founder and Blogger at Lighthouse Insights.

  • http://twitter.com/AjmaniK Kumud Ajmani

    This is an awesome post and great advice ~ not just for students, but also for ‘professionals’ like me. I have long neglected LinkedIn ~ I’m going to use some of these ideas and jump back in. Thanks Prasant.

    • http://lighthouseinsights.in/ Prasant Naidu

      Great bro, give it some time and you will really find useful. For example one of my blog posts i crowd sourced ideas with the help of ‘answers’. Linkedin is a great tool which needs lot of time and dedication :)

  • http://twitter.com/gingerconsult Jen Olney

    This is a great blog and filled with important tips. I will admit I do not use my LinkedIn to it’s full potential. I have not really devoted the time to LinkedIn as should have, given that the connections I have there are valuable, I really should develop the referrals in particular. What is terrific about your advice in particular is for students - what a great way to network and develop their digital footprint as well - many do this on Facebook now but haven’t spent the time on LinkedIn. Great blog, Prasant. Thanks for sharing your wisdom here.

    • http://lighthouseinsights.in/ Prasant Naidu

      Linkedin referrals are a great testimony  and i am a big fan of groups and answers :) get loads of ideas from there. It will be really great for you and your business too. However linkedin will take some time to work. I had recently visited my college and shared my views. Response was that they were eager to know more. I think social media should be with students too :) thanks for stopping by.like it :D

  • Kulin

    Sometime back I was talking to my Alma Mater’s Placement Head about how students can maximize their exposure. Also one point that I think you can add is collaboration with peer set in other universities. I have strongly believed that LinkedIn is a great way to engage on projects and assignments with students across the globe pursuing similar interests. All in all great article !! 

    • http://lighthouseinsights.in/ Prasant Naidu

      Very true Kulin :) yes linkedin is a beauty and the way you highlighted really works. thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

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