LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional network with 500 million members in over 200 countries and territories.

There are currently 40 million students on LinkedIn, are you one of them?

To give you a high level view of registered members in regions around the world:

  • North America: 138M +
  • Latin America:  70M +
  • India: 42M +
  • United Kingdom: 23M +
  • European Nations: 70M +
  • Australia/ NZ: 9M +
  • Asia and the Pacific: 118M +
  • Southeast Asia: 22M +
  • EMEA: 158M +

*These facts were derived from the LinkedIn website in 2017

Given the above statistics, it’s so surprising to see that over 55% of all students aren’t on LinkedIn! As recruiters, we expect students to be on LinkedIn, want to know why?

  1. It’s an easy and immediate way for you to start building networks.
  2. As a student, you can join groups and attend events that are either in line with your future career or is in your interest circle.
  3. You have access to a wealth of information in regards to companies, articles & business insights.
  4. Access to Jobs, jobs and more jobs! Many jobs in today’s age are only advertised on LinkedIn and not on major jobs boards.
  5. You can be found- otherwise known as ‘sourced’ through LinkedIn. Recruiters & HR are actively on LinkedIn looking for people who fit their potential profile. If you aren’t on LinkedIn- you can’t be found. Trust us, LOTS of recruiter DO search for GRADUATES/ STUDENTS on LinkedIn and invite you to apply or better yet, may ask you straight in for an interview… so again, if you aren’t on LinkedIn, you can’t be found and quite simply, may miss out on opportunities that others will secure.

We hope we have your attention by now and the point is clear- If you aren’t on LinkedIn, you need to be as soon as you finish reading this blog.

Being on LinkedIn comes with certain professional etiquettes that you must follow to keep looking professional…. trust us on following these.

Ensure the image you pick is professional in nature, ideally you will be wearing corporate attire and standing in front of a white or blue plain wall.  Do not use a facebook Saturday night picture even if you are looking simply amazing. It speaks louder than words in terms of professionalism.

Your profile headline is clear, short & to the point. For example: “Finance student seeking a graduate position” or “Post graduate student seeking Engineering position”

Have a summary which is concise and powerful, outlining your professional goals, qualifications & relevant work experience. In short, ensure it lets the readers know who you are, what you have accomplished and what you are looking for next. UCGR recommends to get on Linkedin and read other students summaries to get an idea of what other people talk about and how they phrase their summaries. Read a few LinkedIn Summary examples.

Fill out the entire profile, use professional language and ensure you spell check.

Add all your relevant education including exchange programs or internships. Don’t go overboard however and add non relevant certificates such as first aid or the excel course you undertook.

List all the work experience you have had- not just those with corporate links. Don’t underestimate the value of adding your customer service or retail experience as being key attributes that recruiters look for.

Add keywords to your skills section. This is the place to ensure you use the relevant keywords and phrases in line with your experience and skills. Match keywords to relevant job descriptions that you are looking at as recruiters will search for potential candidates based on these keywords.

Join groups that are relevant to your professional career, university /college alumni’s or interests. For example professional career groups for Engineers may be ‘The Engineering professionals group’. Interest based groups may be design or influencers such as business leaders or entrepreneurs.

Include volunteer & charity experiences you have participated in. This is again a key attribute that recruiters look for.

If you have earned honours or awards from studies or sports, ensure you add it to your profile. Don’t be shy.

If you have a project, thesis or accomplishments you want to share with everyone, you can on your profile. It’s an excellent way to show off and let others get an insight into your skills.

For a great example of a student profile head to-https://www.linkedin.com/in/studentsample (Please note as this is a sample profile, there is not a real persons image on the profile, so don’t think that an avatar is ok, OK!)

How to show you are active on LinkedIn:

Join groups and follow influencers. Once joined, actively partake in positing articles, joining discussions or commenting where you have something to say.

Post updates, articles or develop content that is professional and relevant to your area of interest, studies or future career.

The best profiles have recommendations, don’t be shy to ask your managers, senior colleagues or lecturers to write one for you. Remember to keep these professional & don’t ask your friends to write one stating how fun and lovely you are.

Build your networks from the start and don’t stop growing. There is no point in adding someone because they have the job title you want or work at a company you aspire to one day if you don’t utilise that network effectively. The next section below will outline how to network on LinkedIn effectively.

If you want more insights into face to face networking head to our UCGR blog-Networking is not a scary word.

How to Network effectively on LinkedIn

Networking online follows similar principles but is quite different from networking in person. Online networking has become rather unfamiliar and often done ‘just for the sake of it’. Social media has brought people closer together, but has also driven a wedge right down the middle of building valuable and relevant relationships. We just ‘add’ people to our network because they have a job title we are aiming for, or one we think can do something for us. We also ‘add’ people because they work at a company we strive to work for or because they are a connection of someone we know. However after making that connection, we often never communicate with them again or even remember their name after a few weeks, if not days later.

So what’s the point? Do we do it in the hope that one day, we may need them? Or one day they may see our profile for a potential role and somehow remember who we are and reach out to us?

Here’s Undercover Grad Recruiters recommendations of how to make the most of online networking:

When you request to connect with someone, send them a short message saying something like “It’ a pleasure to connect with you, I look forward to sharing relevant articles or topics of interest with you in the future.”

When someone requests to connect with you do note there is no obligation to accept. If you do accept, UCGR recommends to review their profile once accepted and make note if there are any connections you may find useful. If you do- reach out and make a request as in the end- the other party reached out to connect with you.

Pick your networks wisely, a great place to start is connecting with those whom you already know or are connected with. Joining relevant industry or interest groups will give you access to an unbelievable number of people that you may want to connect with, so make the most of it.

If you have connected with someone and you notice that they work somewhere you want to know more about or have a job you are aiming for, there is nothing wrong with asking questions to satisfy your knowledge, as long as it’s done professionally with etiquette. For example- if you want to know more about what it’s like to work at XX, you can phrase the question this way: “Hi John, I noticed you work at Kingsaw, it’s a company I am aiming to work for one day. I am currently a Marketing student, about to finish my undergraduate and would be grateful if you could share your insights into the values and culture of Kingsaw.”  You may get some awesome responses this way, or you may not get any reply at all. But as long as you keep it professional, people will respect and appreciate you reaching out to them and if they are not keen to answer, it’s very common that they pass your details along to someone in HR or Recruitment that will reply to your query, which is still a great outcome.

If you decide to join relevant groups- make the most of it. Partake in discussions, post articles and most of all, attend events so you can make real and relevant face to face connections.

quote 55     Undercover Grad Recruiter has now told you:

  • Why you should be on LinkedIn
  • How to build an effective profile
  • How to be active & noticed and
  • How to networking effectively online

So what are you waiting for?  This is UCGR’s call to action- sign up today and help your future- www.linkedin.com

Have fun!

Undercover Grad Recruiter