Are you waiting until after graduation to start building up your LinkedIn profile? It's time to reconsider.
"Every student is blindly trying to make a resume, but surprisingly many don't have great LinkedIn profiles," says Natan Edelsburg, senior vice president at Sawhorse Media. "I often hear, 'Here's my resume. My LinkedIn isn't great, but here's the link.' I usually respond, 'Make it great, and then get back to me!'"
Thirty-seven percent of surveyed job recruiters identified social professional networks as one of the most important sources for hiring. Social professional networks are also the fastest growing source of quality hires.
Still not convinced? Ninety of the Fortune 100 companies use LinkedIn's corporate talent solutions to find future hires.
"Employers are looking for recent graduates," says Nicole Williams, a career expert at LinkedIn and the founder of WORKS by Nicole Williams, a lifestyle brand for young, career-driven women. If you're active on LinkedIn as a college student, "you may be able to be identified as a college student, and as a potential candidate, passively," she says. Being identified "passively" means job recruiters could find your profile and consider you for a position, without you even having to apply.
But how do you actually build a great LinkedIn profile as a college student? Mashable has you covered.
Post a profile photo.Some college students are wary of including their profile pictures on LinkedIn for fear of looking too young. But Williams explains a profile picture could actually work in your favor. A photo provides a face for your digital personality and helps recruiters see you as a human, rather than a hyperlink.
Include coursework and extracurriculars.Your LinkedIn profile should weave together the story of your professional development, so it's good to be as detailed as possible. Include information about relevant coursework, clubs and organizations in which you've participated at school. If you've done any internships or gained work experience, be specific about what skills you developed, how many hours you worked or how many students you tutored.
"Part of your differentiator as a college student is that you know technology and you know how to build a professional brand," says Williams. "Employers want to know that you can bring that to their company."
Show off your schoolwork.
You can now visually illustrate your skills with rich media, such as pictures and videos. If you have a presentation you're especially proud of, or a design project you executed for an internship, include it on your profile to help recruiters visualize what type of talent you bring to the table.
More tips and the complete Mashable article