College Students Should Have a LinkedIn Profile

career minded college students on break Though you might not realize it now, having a LinkedIn profile as a college student can be extremely beneficial in helping you land a job upon graduation. LinkedIn currently has over 120 million members and it is continuing to grow. Consequently, setting up your account and building your professional network early on, will help when the time comes for you to get internships and/or jobs.

Creating College Students LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn profiles are incredibly easy to build and maintain. They are also great because they allow you complete control over how your information is used and what others can see. For instance, if someone comes to your profile through a Google search, you can control what information they can see – i.e. just your current position or what college you are attending, etc. Remember though, your LinkedIn profile is a way to establish yourself professionally. Things like recommendations from coworkers or professors and past work experiences and/or volunteering, should all be included. Pictures of yourself partying on the weekend or discussing what you are doing that night are better left for other social networking sites.

College Students – Learn from other LinkedIn Members

If you visit the LinkedIn Web site, you can view a video just for students explaining how to use LinkedIn and exactly why you should join. Other than finding internships and jobs – both of which are extremely important and difficult to come by in this economy – you can find mentors in your field of choice or in careers that you think you might be interested in. Many professionals on LinkedIn welcome the idea of talking to current students about their career and the company they work for, as well as the positive and negative aspects of their job.

You Should be Professional & Career Oriented using LinkedIn

When building your LinkedIn profile as a student, there are a few things you really need to think about. For instance, do you hope to find a career where you are currently going to school? Or would you prefer to move somewhere else? For best results with finding career opportunities upon graduation, you should look to list the city that you want to work in and probably include one or two lines about that in your summary section. In your summary you should also talk about the type of person you are, what you hope to do when you graduate and what you will bring to the table as a worker.

When listing work experiences in your LinkedIn profile, try to limit it to only internships or jobs that pertain to what you want to do. However, if all the experience you have is, say, in waiting tables, make that work to your benefit. Explain how that job helped you to learn how to work with all sorts of people, stay positive in stressful situations and multitask! Also be sure to include recommendations from Supervisors or Professors because those help to make things more personal, making you seem more like an actual person rather than just some profile online.

Sierra Martinez is a Marine Corps wife, mother of one and a writer. She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelors in Journalism and Mass Communications and a focus in Public Relations.