A Non-Scary Guide to Setting up LinkedIn for University Students

A Non-Scary Guide to Setting up LinkedIn for University Students

Whether in the first semester of university or a getting close to graduation, students from all stages of their degree can feel overwhelmed by creating a LinkedIn profile. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be so complex, and the process can be broken down into a few easy steps.

part one: the simple stuff

Let’s get the basics out of the way. You definitely need a profile photo. While a professional head shot with a neutral background is preferred, an effectively cropped photo of you from Instagram will make do for now.

Next, you want to edit your info. Try not to leave any blanks. Write a simple but catchy headline like “Second-year management student at the University of Melbourne” or “Digital marketing assistant at X Agency”. If you’re unsure of what to put, imagine you’ve just been introduced to a recruiter at an event, after saying your name, this is the next sentence out of your mouth describing yourself.

Onto the third most important thing after the photo and the headline: the summary. Think of the time you put into shaping the perfect Tinder bio to prove you’re witty and attractive. Now think about how terrible Tinder is. Now think about how much time you should put into making you look intelligent and attractive to employers, and how great not being unemployed is.

Here is an awesome SAMMPress article on how to brand yourself in the digital age.

In addition to the introduction, there are a few more segments that you have to fill. These include education, work experience, volunteering, and skills. Think of this part as similar to an online resume, but instead of tailoring it for one role at a unique company, you want us much breadth and depth as possible.

Part Two: Networking Time

The most intimidating feature of LinkedIn is  undoubtedly networking. Build up your network, first with people who you know in real life, and then alumni who seem to be in a related field, and also people whose lives you are insanely jealous of.

Grab a couple of mates and spend half an hour writing recommendations and endorsements of skills based off any projects you’ve worked together on to really make your profile stand out.

After events like careers expos and information nights, follow up on people with whom you’ve had a friendly conversation with a personalised message reintroducing yourself and how nice it was to meet them. It’s a good idea to like and re-share posts from people in your industry to build up a profile of your interests and demonstrate your enthusiasm.

Part Three: Finding a Job

Look for jobs on LinkedIn! There are heaps of stuff posted, especially if you are looking outside of the most popular grad programs. A unique feature to LinkedIn is that you can see stats like how many other people have applied which can be a little scary, but you get an opportunity to suss out the competition.

You can use the platform to find people who are successful in industries of your interest, and then identify the abilities they have, and work towards improving your skills in those areas. For instance, a great profile which students of all disciplines can use as an example is Josh Farr from Campus Consulting.

Integrate keywords from relevant job position descriptions into your profile to optimise it for recruiters.

Don’t be put off by the fact that people can see if you’ve seen their profile – it shows initiative on your behalf. Make sure to follow companies that you’d like to work for in the future. They’ll provide updates on openings and if a recruiter ever looks you up, you’ll score major brownie points.


And there you have it: keep updating any new events or roles you take on, and soon you will have a well functioning LinkedIn profile that is sure to impress any future recruiters.

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