I haven’t made a blog post in quite a while, but today I decided to read some of the questions people are posting on LinkedIn and make a brief post about it.
The question I’m addressing is as follows: “Hello everyone, I am recently new to LinkedIn and seek help building my profile. I am a Business undergrad and have no experience. Any tips?”. Although the person/student is looking for tips as a business students, I would like to provide my general perspective for anyone involved in academics and even outside.
1. Getting Involved
As a student, you have a lot of opportunities to get involved outside of classwork. In engineering, for example, there are competitions, clubs, hackathons, teaching assistantships and much more. It is very important to find something you are passionate about and get involved. From personal experience, this will allow you to practice social skills, technical skills, give back to the community and look great on your profile/resume.
You need to put yourself in the employer’s shoes. 95% (percentage based on my assumption) of the applicants they filter through have not participated in any activities outside of the classroom. Your grades are important, but they aren’t everything. You need to be well rounded and show passion in your field.
2. Continue Learning
We all have very little time as full time students, however, it is important to spend a portion of that time to learn skills which are not being taught in classrooms. A good example for myself was PCB design. Learning Altium Designer on my own was not only necessary for my final year project, but also extremely beneficial for employers.
The approach I would recommend here is doing some research about the positions you are looking to fill and listing the required/desired skills in a spreadsheet. Look for opportunities to learn those skills within the academic environment (My university offered free & paid classes on AutoCAD, Eagle, Altium Designer on weekends) and list them on your profile and resume as you go along.
3. Personal Projects
You’re studying with many brilliant minds and have most likely made a lot of connections during your program. It is the ideal time to get involved in an outside of classroom project which you can proudly list in your LinkedIn profile. You don’t need to overthink it; you can build a website, create an e-commerce store, develop an application for your favorite platform, analyze a certain product, etc.
The goal is to work on something you have an interest in and relates to your field. This will showcase your motivation to work on a specific project and display your willingness to complete something you’re not pressured to (as opposed to an academic setting).
4. Enjoy what you do
You won’t always be passionate about your work, but you need to find ways to stay motivated and push yourself to find topics which interest you. Keep learning, getting involved and you will quickly find things to list on your profile.
Grades are important, but your involvement outside of class is even more so.
Hope that answers the question,