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Blog: 10 Tips for Setting Up Your LinkedIn as a Student (or when you might be lacking experience!)

10 Tips for Setting Up Your LinkedIn as a Student
(or when you might be lacking experience!)

Two young people sitting side-by-sit looking at a laptop

Everyone (including us) is shouting to the rooftops about how important LinkedIn is, but when you don’t have any professional experience to share, how do you go about setting up your profile to make sure you don’t miss any opportunities online?

We’ve put together 10 tips to help you make that profile *shiiiiiine*, even if you don’t have a long list of ex-jobs to include.


1. Get a Professional Profile Picture

We can’t repeat this tip enough – your profile picture is your first impression! A blurry old photo from a night out is not going to cut it, nor that photo of you at your Year 12 formal where you’ve managed to half cut out your friends around you. Get a headshot where you look professional and approachable, and wear something that reflects the type of job you’re going for (and you!). Phones are more than high enough quality these days – grab your friends, and have a headshot afternoon!


2. Write a Headline that Focuses on your Aspirations (Not Your Current Title!)

While it may feel like you need to put your job title as your headline, you can actually write anything you want! We suggest thinking about your aspirations, studies, or key skills – and highlighting them.

Here are a few examples:

  • • Aspiring Marketer and Current Business Student at Curtin University
  • • Future Data Scientist with a Passion for AI and Machine Learning
  • • Emerging Journalist Passionate about Investigative Reporting


3. Write a Summary that represents what you want people to know about you – it’s like your virtual cover letter!

This is the time for people to get to know YOU and your story.

Think about your cover letter, the way you’d introduce yourself in an interview – or the way you’d answer the age-old question, “Tell us a little bit about yourself!”. Below is a list of what to think about including, but remember – only include things that are relevant!

  • • Academic achievements
  • • Extra-curricular activities
  • • What you’re passionate about
  • • Your goals
  • • What you’re looking to achieve or learn in the future


If you struggle to know what makes you unique and what to write here, there’s a great program you could look at doing to help figure it out *cough GenFuture cough*.


4. Get as Detailed as You Can With Your Education!

As a student or someone without job experience, many of your first opportunities are going to be based on your education – which is why this section is so important for you.

Make sure you include your education history (including your high school and current university) – and Include relevant coursework, projects, and any honours or awards.


5. Highlight Your Skills and Endorsements

Think about skills that are relevant to the career you’re interested in, and think about which of those you currently have. You may not have gotten them in a professional sense, but through classes, projects, or extracurricular activities. 

To make them even more impactful, ask classmates, teachers, or mentors to endorse these skills once you’ve inputted them! Referrals are absolute gold in the business world, and getting LinkedIn endorsements is the digital equivalent!


6. If You’ve Ever Done Any Volunteering, Make Sure You Include It!

Volunteering shows initiative and a willingness to contribute to your community, which are qualities employers value. If you’ve done any type of volunteering, make sure you include it in your profile!


7. Give People an Insight Into You by Adding Your Extracurriculars

While it’s all well and good to highlight your academics, sometimes it can be the extracurricular that can snag you that first meeting/interview – or impress a recruiter! 

Think about things outside of school you were a part of – sporting teams, clubs, organisations – and describe what you did.


8. Don’t Forget Your Certifications and Courses

Any course or certification you’ve completed should be included in your profile (well, almost any!). Make sure you’re only including certifications and courses relevant to the career you’re interested in – as they can show you’ve got skills that a typical education doesn’t. It might be an art design course you did in the school holidays, or an online coding course – if it’s relevant, put it on there!


9. Start Building Connections and Networking

Once you’ve got your profile setup, it’s time to start building your connections! Start by connecting with classmates and your peers, and then start to look beyond (but make sure you’re not just connecting with people for no reason who don’t know you!). 

You can also join LinkedIn groups related to your field of interest and participate in discussions to build your reputation in the space!


10. It’s Time to Get Out There!

Once you’re all set up, it’s time to start using LinkedIn *for real*. Think about how you want to be represented online (what’s important to you, what you’re passionate about and your ideal career) and start to post content around these ideas. It could be your opinion on a piece of news that came out, or a photo of you at an event with your biggest takeaways – the world is your oyster!

It’s also important to be proactive in engaging, so make sure you comment on others’ posts and initiate conversations wherever possible. You never know where the next opportunity might pop up!


Setting up your LinkedIn profile as a student might seem scary, but it’s a great step towards building your professional network!