It’s no secret that here at The Career Center, we love LinkedIn. It’s a great tool for professional networking, but it has always seemed to cater just a little more toward full-time professionals than to students. Recently, however, the folks at LinkedIn have been making a concerted effort toward more student-friendly features, and some new additions to the profile section are another step in that direction. Here’s the scoop from the LinkedIn Blog:
- Projects: Participating in projects shows that you can apply classroom learning to real-world challenges and work effectively in a team. Add compelling research or class projects to your profile – especially those that demonstrate experience relevant to your professional goals.
- Honors & Awards: Did you make the Dean’s List or earn a merit-based scholarship? Add it to your profile. While much of your profile is a subjective characterization of your abilities, Honors & Awards provide objective validation for your accomplishments.
- Organizations: Participation in on-campus or external organizations shows your contributions outside the classroom. Leadership abilities, and making a positive impact within an organization, are talents widely sought by employers and recruiters.
- Test Scores: Employers often view strong test scores as indicators of good problem solving skills. If you have excelled at standardized tests, or have a stellar G.P.A., include these scores on your profile.
- Courses: Do you consistently push the envelope by enrolling in rigorous coursework? List select courses on your profile – especially those that qualify you for positions you are seeking, or demonstrate your commitment to expanding your academic horizons. Many employers know your school’s course catalogs as well as you do, so include the strongest courses of your college experience.
With these additions, you can more easily include some of the valuable experiences you have had both inside and outside the classroom as a student here at Michigan. In particular, the ‘project’ and ‘organization’ sections offer the chance to discuss practical, transferable skills that you have developed, that can serve you well as an intern or entry-level employee. Often times, those experiences are just as or more relevant to an employer than something you did as a part-time job just to earn a little extra cash. We’re always happy to work with students on their LinkedIn profile in the same way we can help you craft your resume — so don’t be afraid to schedule an appointment if you’d like some help taking advantage of these new profile options!