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Professionals from all walks of life utilize the features found on LinkedIn to build connections and find new opportunities in their chosen careers. The site is basically a social media platform that is focused on work instead of the personal lives of its users. While it is common for established workers to have a profile and post regularly to the site, it can also present some unique advantages to college students looking forward to their first real job after graduation. Here are a few ways any college student can create an engaging and effective LinkedIn profile.

Set Your Goals

College students might be interested in finding an internship, a full-time job, or a mentor who can help shape the next few years of their lives. In any case, LinkedIn can probably offer some assistance. Making these goals a prominent feature of a college student’s page will help visitors understand how they might be able to help.

Display Your Strengths

Since users can find and interact with each other based on common interests and specific needs, any college student with relevant experience and accomplishments can stand out from the crowd by highlighting those achievements. Additionally, there is a paid version of LinkedIn that can help further propel a college student’s profile to the top of the heap.

Upload Your Photo

No proper social media profile is complete without a great mugshot. On LinkedIn, however, the goal should be to present a professional image. Of course, it is not necessary to pose in a suit or beside a stack of books. It is perfectly acceptable to allow some personality to shine through as long as the image is not offensive or unseemly.

Create Your Summary

LinkedIn provides users with a space to promote their experience and professional goals. This can be especially useful for students who can regularly update the summary section with new achievements and accomplishments that might make potential employers more likely to consider them for a position. This is an opportunity to craft a brief outline to let others know all about a student’s passions, hobbies, and plans for the future.