In today’s day and age, where LinkedIn is fast proving to be a platform beneficial to not just professionals, but also to students alike, hosting a workshop on LinkedIn for students will surely help them in decoding ways to have a stunning profile in LinkedIn and also to network their way into the professional world.
Here is a detailed plan for setting up such a workshop:
Students often don’t realize the full power of LinkedIn, see it as another social networking platform. Start off the workshop by delineating the differences between Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat and LinkedIn. Clearly talk about how LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, used to expand one’s knowledge in their respective fields of interest and how students can start out their professional networking journeys through LinkedIn, by connecting with recruiters or interacting with top experts in the field by joining the right groups.
After briefing students about LinkedIn, state the significance of each component of their LinkedIn profiles and how they can optimise all of them to stand out from the crowd.
Ensure that the following points are clearly showcased using practical examples.
i. Use a professional photo
A Professional Photo must be used as students’ profile pictures. The fact that those funky stickers or filters that are available on other social media platforms are a strict no-no must be clearly conveyed.
ii. Create a clever headline
A clever Headline is a must and should for a student’s profile. Instruct them to not to use the word “I” in their headline. Ask them to mention how utilitarian they can be by stating their skills.
iii. Keep summary section first
Although LinkedIn allows its users to reorder different sections of their profile, advise your students to always keep the Summary section in the first. This is because the Summary section is where they talk about themselves, their interests, their thought processes for choosing to do an activity and so on.
iv. Add relevant new sections
iStudents know about the traditional resume, which is usually limited to a page or two, with predefined sections like “Education” and “Work”. They will have a pleasant surprise when you mention that it is possible to add new sections to their profiles like “Volunteering Work” or “Achievements”.
v. Distinguish between recommendations and endorsements
Tell them the difference between Recommendations and Endorsements. While endorsements are given to each skill that they mention in their LinkedIn profile, by people who know that they possess such skills, recommendations are in depth feedback about them, by their senior teammates of their project or even the mentor they worked under for a research paper.
Profile Building in LinkedIn needs well thought out strategies for students to succeed in building the right impression.
i. Personalising connection requests
As students are used to following their friends on Twitter, or even send a friend request by just one click, they often have the mindset that they don’t need to do anything extra in LinkedIn. Explain the importance of sending a personalised message to the person that they want to connect to (this option is available directly to students , whenever they send a request for connection).
ii. Joining the right groups
It is imperative for students to be a part of their alumni groups. This helps them in not only connecting with many people, but also there might be hidden opportunities for them. For example, if one of them is interested in building a new Android app, they can find like-minded people in their groups which can ultimately help in forming a solid team to go ahead with the project.
iii. Not making the mistake of accepting connection requests only from the people they know
In LinkedIn, connecting with people who they may not know, but with whom they share some common interests can prove to be beneficial as these connections can help students to learn from each other or to collaborate or to even find jobs. Advise them to check out others’ works, to message them if they particularly liked one of their projects and so on.
iv. Not overusing these buzzwords
Owing to their enthusiastic nature, students often end up using words like “responsible”, “creative”, “effective”, “patient” and “analytical”. Infuse a bit of professionalism in them by telling clearly that they got to focus on writing out what exactly they did on their projects/internships/presentations. By explicitly writing out their contributions and skills, the reader will automatically make the judgement that the person to whom the profile belongs to must be “analytical” or “responsible” as he/she could come up with their own solutions using problem solving skills and interpretations.
i. Showing Social Validation
When students start putting up their work on LinkedIn, while that’s a great start, they can increase the number of profile views and the number of people who would want to connect with them by displaying how others have reacted to their work. For example, students can show their work on Facebook and mention on LinkedIn how many likes they received and how exactly are people reacting to it. They can even ask someone who appreciated their work to write out a detailed testimony, which can then be added to their LinkedIn profile.
ii. Making Use of Multimedia
Instruct students to always show proof of their work, either in the form of photos or videos of their work or even a presentation that they prepared and presented in class. Showcasing multimedia helps build a sense of trust in those students, which goes a long way in creating an excellent impression for others who may view their profile.
This workshop, loaded with effective tips and hacks for LinkedIn will definitely help your students to put their best foot forward in this professional networking platform. If you are interested in looking at more such tips for LinkedIn, visit http://www.mim-essay.com/top-33-linkedin-profile-tips-job-seekers-2017/
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