If you think that creating your LinkedIn profile can wait until graduation, it’s high time you changed your mind.

Every student starts creating resume way before last month of studying. However, with LinkedIn profiles, situation is rather different. Meantime, almost 30% of recruiters believe that social professional networks such LinkedIn are the great source for finding new employees. Also, social professional networks are the fastest way of hiring people.

Still, do not believe that you need to create a LinkedIn profile right now?

Well, you are going to miss a lot of great companies because 90 of 100 companies use LinkedIn to hire new people. Nicole Williams, career expert at LinkedIn says that students who are active on LinkedIn as students can find a job even without applying for a position. Recruiters are often looking for grads and they will find your profile (if you are active).

Sounds amazing, right? The perfect job can literally find you!

However, how to build a great LinkedIn profile if you are a college student without working experience?

Don’t worry we got you covered!

Add profile photo

A lot of students do not add profile photo because of fear of looking too immature. However, professional recruiters say that profile picture always works in students favor. The photo helps to humanize your account – show a real person behind hyperlinks.

Do not forget to include extracurricular and coursework

Why is this information relevant? Your LinkedIn profile should describe your professional way, so including detailed information about the work you have done during studying is vital. It shows you like professional who get the thing done. Include information about

  • classes that are relevant to the position you go for;

  • clubs and organizations you have membership in;

  • internships or part-time jobs.

While describing your experience, mark out what skills you improved/developed.

Demonstrate your schoolwork

Can you show a visual illustration of your skills? Maybe, presentation with pictures and video. Demonstrate presentation skills or describe the digital project you prepared for some class – show what skills you can bring to the company.

Ask for recommendations

Stop! We know what you think, and you are wrong. Recommendations do not have to come from employers only. Adding a recommendation letter from your professor or adviser is also great. It will show your personal traits, experience in the chosen field, show your ability to prove your point of view and your social skills. So please do not underestimate the power of recommendation letter at your LinkedIn profile.

Contact leaders of your industry

Perhaps, it is the most exciting one! With the help of LinkedIn, you can contact leaders in your industry. At first, you may think that they are far up in the professional world to bother answering you, however, you will be surprised what polite and thought through letter can achieve. This kind of message should contain two parts – connecting you to that person (common hometown, similar interests, a recommendation from a mutual friend, etc.), and a reason, other than a request to be hired. Even if this is your main goal, start by asking them for a career advice or even ask a personal question. A good idea might be to offer your services free of charge. While it may seem dumb, think about the future. Look up people who are professionals in the field you chose and make an offer to help free of charge, thus showing your passion for the job and devotion to being employed. You don’t need to tell them that you are searching for a job, as it usually is clear on its own. However, if you make yourself remembered once there is an opening, you will have a much greater chance to get a good recommendation from the person you helped earlier.

Add your comments to professional articles

This is a perfect way to show your engagement and passion for your career. Be aware, though, of raising a controversial topic, because if it is coming from your account it will be associated with you, which can influence your chances of finding a job drastically.

Post questions to LinkedIn groups

One of the best ways to become noticed and recognized as an active member rather than just a reader is asking smart questions. While it is true that there are no stupid questions, it will be a lot more beneficial for you if you do little research or at least Google search prior to asking the question. Engage professionals in answering your question and they will notice you.

Consider other career options

The major difference between our generation and our parents’ is that we have an ability to easily choose and switch between careers. Our job experience no longer needs to be linear, and that is all thanks to LinkedIn. You can freely watch other person’s career path and get inspired to change something in your life. Or maybe there is a great offer for something you are good at but never considered it as a career? You’ll never know unless you try.

Check for errors in spelling or grammar

LinkedIn is similar to some other social media, however, it has one big difference from, say, Facebook, and it is a direct impact on your professional path. So it goes without saying that you need to spell check everything that you post there. Once you’ve written a draft of something you want to put there, have a friend to read it and point out possible errors or misunderstandings. Trust me, no one will consider to hire you as a professional if you fail to write correctly.

To sum up, the LinkedIn profile is a must-have in the modern business world, however, just owning it isn’t enough, you have to fill it with valuable information about yourself and be active and creative in your search for the employer.