Your job search and placements start way before you graduate or finish college. Companies are constantly on the lookout for fresh talent. What will convey your readiness to them? Your LinkedIn profile. Having an updated LinkedIn profile really shows you’re a professional and you’re seriously searching for a job. LinkedIn is a one-stop-tool for your resume, networking and career graph purposes. Here’s how you can build a strong LinkedIn profile before you graduate.

Upload a professional photo

Your LinkedIn profile starts off with a photo of yourself. Since this is a professional network, your photo also needs to adhere to the purpose of this platform. Avoid looking too casual and avoid putting up vacation photos or family photos. Get a nice, clean looking photo clicked at a professional studio against a neutral background, wearing formals, and you’re good to go.

Write a good headline

Your headline is the first thing that the visitor will read. It needs to be appealing, attention-grabbing and catchy. It should convey exactly which role you’re looking out for. If you are not sure about which role you want to do, you can always add your college name to show you’re graduating from that particular university.

Write a meaningful bio

The space below the headline is the place where you can write your professional bio. Now, considering you don’t have full-time work experience, use this space to talk about your learnings during your internships during the summers. Don’t leave it empty. You might even talk about any academic achievement here.

Add remaining details

Fill up all the other fields as much as you can. If you have volunteer experience with any NGOs, you should definitely add it. If you have certain projects to showcase or any certificates you received, make sure you update them. You also have the option to upload documents.

Add relevant contact details

First and foremost, create an official email id that you would use only for professional communication. Email ids having slangs won’t do the trick and will make you come across as childish.  Add your email id so that people interested in your work profile can contact you with opportunities. Adding a phone number is totally up to you.

Ask for recommendations

Recommendations are like online referrals. It will really help if you manage to get people to write it for you. It can’t be friends and family, but your peers, professors or your internships’ bosses. These will add to your credibility immensely.

Customise your LinkedIn URL

If you check your default URL, it will be very long and a huge combination of numbers and alphabets. You can customise it to your first name and last name, which will make it really easy for the recruiters to find you. This link you can also add to your resume, social networks and your personal blog if any.

Stay active

It is not enough that you simply create a profile and leave it at that. You need to stay active on this social network as much you do on others. Keep congratulating people on their work anniversaries, comment on posts that are relevant to your industry, share articles from influencers, post quotes, etc. Join groups of similar interests to discuss job openings and other advances in the industry.

All these efforts will definitely pay off, and you’ll build a strong resume on LinkedIn in no time!