When autocomplete options are available, use up and down arrows to review and enter to select.
Apply Give

A College Student’s Guide to LinkedIn

A circle of people talking and smiling

Imagine your professional presence accessed through one digital space. Imagine being able to show off your online, professional presence to potential employers. Imagine networking with other professionals, including fellow students, and cheering one another on towards professional growth.

Welcome to LinkedIn!

It’s a social media site where you can do all of this and more. If you’re new to LinkedIn or want to maximize your profile, you’re in the right place.

Let’s talk about the basics of LinkedIn and how to craft your online presence toward the professional world.

What is LinkedIn?

According to its website, “LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the internet. You can use LinkedIn to find the right job or internship, connect and strengthen professional relationships, and learn the skills you need to succeed in your career.”

It is a social networking site, like Facebook or Instagram, but the connections made through the site are for professional development purposes. You can still add friends, but LinkedIn calls them “connections”.

Your profile can be seen as a type of digital resume. You can demonstrate your specific skills, experiences, portfolio, and education in a virtual format.

The platform also offers a job database, where you can search through thousands of positions and learn more about the companies behind them.

What are the biggest benefits of using LinkedIn?

The biggest benefit of using LinkedIn is the ability to network. You can network with other students, current or past employers, alumni, companies you are interested in, etc. Because of this emphasis on networking, you can not only celebrate the accomplishments of your peers but also find job opportunities through the people you’re connected with.

Also, the LinkedIn feed offers tons of information on career trends and updates on what’s happening in the world. It can be an incredibly inspiring and encouraging space to dive into.

I made an account— now what?

Fill in your LinkedIn profile as you would a resume. To start, use the “about” section to hook potential employers with what makes you stand out. Add any experience you have (this can come directly from your resume) while also placing portfolio work under the “featured” section. The more well-rounded your profile page is, the better.

Also, try and use keywords for your desired industry when filling out your profile. For example, if you want to be a social media manager, you should use words like “Instagram” or “editing”. Keywords help your profile come up more quickly in search results.

The Career Services office would love to help you create a LinkedIn profile and get the most out of the site! We hold LinkedIn workshops, offered either in-person or virtually. Or, you could meet with a career coach to get started.

Once you’ve created a profile, a great way to get noticed by employers is through the message you can send to new connections. Career Services advises students to send employers a follow-up message after career fairs and interviews. For example, try discussing an aspect of the networking conversation you had! This can help to separate you from other potential candidates, but make sure to keep it genuine and short.

What are some common mistakes to avoid?

The two biggest areas where students make mistakes are the profile picture and tagline.

The profile picture should look professional; if you don’t have a headshot, make sure the photo is high quality and shows your face in about half of the frame.

Your tagline should specifically focus on the industry you are pursuing. Rather than just putting “Student at Liberty University”, focus on your industry and use select keywords that promote what you offer.

Written by Stephanie Haydon  
Edited by Lindsey Erickson  

Chat Live Chat Live Request Info Request Info Apply Now Apply Now Visit Liberty Visit Liberty