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What are some best practices for building a LinkedIn profile as a college student?

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On a more specific note, should I include my role in an executive board for a student organization in the experiences section or in the volunteering section? #student #resume #job #career #college #linkedin
#job-search

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32 answers

Elizabeth’s Answer

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Aside from the great advice above, I would recommend being proactive about regularly checking LinkedIn just like you do any of your other social media accounts. Your activity (e.g. posts, likes, shares, etc.) will appear in your connections' timeline, and it will make a good impression if they see that you regularly engage with good content.

On that note, follow some reputable organizations on LinkedIn that are related to your field. For example, medical journals if you're pursuing a career in health care, or big and well-established ad agencies if you're looking for a job in advertising.

To answer your specific question, I would recommend including the student organization position in the Volunteering section, unless it was a paid role.

Hope this is helpful!

Elizabeth recommends the following next steps:

  • Start following reputable organizations on LinkedIn that are related to your field.
  • Visit LinkedIn several times a week.
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John’s Answer

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Christie LinkedIn has become the go-to job search tool in today's job market for both employers and job seekers. It is mandatory to be on LinkedIn when 94% of recruiters are using it to search for and vet job seekers. And if they can't find you, they can't hire you. Since LinkedIn is so widely used you want to make sure that you have a professional presence. Your profile is your virtual business card. This is your face to the business world so let's make sure you are making a great first impression.

5 WAYS TO OPTIMIZE YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE

PROFESSIONAL LOOKING HEADSHOT
You don't have to spend money on a professional photographer but you should look like a professional in your photo. This means a business suit or whatever is considered business appropriate for your company or industry. Avoid the cute photos from graduation day with your cap and gown or from your best friend's wedding reception. Save those for Facebook and Instagram.

DESCRIPTIVE HEADLINE
The headline is the line right below your name and is the next most viewed piece of real estate on your profile because this is the line that tells people what you do or what you want to do. So you want to make sure it is descriptive enough to catch the attention of a recruiter who is scanning profiles for the right candidate.

e.g.: "Marketing Major Seeking Position With Social Media Start Up."

It is important to keep this updated and use keywords that are relevant to the industry and role you want to be in. For clues as to what keywords to include look at the headlines of other professionals who have the job you want.

SUMMARY
having a great summary sets you apart from the average job seeker. Just like a cover letter, this is your chance to tell your professional story in a way that highlights why someone should hire you. It should sum up your experience and accomplishments as well as give a little taste of your personality.

EDUCATION EXPERIENCE
Christie what most people don't know is that by filling out your experience section completely you improve your position in LinkedIn search results. In addition to adding where you went to school and what you studied, you can also add your praiseworthy GPA, honors, awards, student executive board position, your volunteerism and your internships in chronological order starting with the most recent. You can also add the relevant classes you took, special projects you worked on, or competitions that you participated in. Don't be afraid to show off how hard you worked to get to graduation day!

Your experience is what gets you hired and just like your resume you want to have your experience descriptions tailored to your ideal job so list your student executive board position, your volunteerism and your internships in chronological order starting with the most recent.

Another great way to highlight your experience is to include a list of skills you want to be endorsed for. By listing your relevant skills this serves as another way to increase your chances of being found in search results.

RECOMMENDATIONS
In the land of social media, social proof is how you get people to believe how great you say are. And just like a product, a good recommendation can be the difference between an employer choosing you or someone else. The recommendation option is one of the features that makes LinkedIn more than just your online resume and it would be a waste for you not to take advantage of it.

Christie spend some time on this platform every day to discover new opportunities and get updates.
I hop this was helpful, If you have any thoughts or questions leave a comment below.
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Syed’s Answer

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Hi Christie,

Great question! Nowadays your LinkedIn profile is a more elaborate digital resume, professional forum and sales tool all combined. As a college student, your extracurricular experiences should definitely go in your experiences section. The more substantial your contributions, the more impressive it looks. When you graduate, you can move these things to the Education section.

First off, pick a professional photo that is not a crop of a group photo or is otherwise low quality.

Your bio should be comprehensive enough that no one has to read your entire profile to know the gist of your background.

Don’t copy your resume word for word in the Experiences section. Expand upon what you have on your resume with more context.

Keep your volunteer experience limited to work related to nonprofits or charity.

Seek out feedback from your peers and current/former supervisors to get “Endorsements”.
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Ari’s Answer

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On my linkedIn I always put my positions in the volunteer section but part of that is because I have had numerous part time jobs over the years and I don't want to clutter the experience section up with everything that I have done. On the other hand I put it all in one section on my resume because not all of the jobs that I have had are included on my resume. My best suggestion would be that it is up to you what you would like to do and how you want to organize your LinkedIn. I do agree that you should have a professional photo of you done and some schools offer it with a career fair so I would look into that.
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Chassidy’s Answer

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In addition to Syed's Answer, you could break up your executive board experience into both sections. Place your specific role on the executive board in your experience section and in the volunteer section put community service you participated in with that organization.
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Mike’s Answer

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Lot of good responses above. I would recommend the following in addition to enhancing your LinkedIN profile above as recommended by the previous answers.

1). Post Links to Articles in Your Field - Take articles that are relevant to your major/profession of choice and then take key parts of the article/paper and highlight why your LinkedIN followers want to read it. Many people post a link with no analysis, go the extra mile and add value. Once I started doing this two years ago I have increased my profile and connections by 5x.

2). Write a Article - I would focus on posting article summaries first before starting writing a post. Once you feel comfortable then write a short post on a topic of interest with references. This shows off your analytical and writing skills and will grow your network.

3). Connections - Do not connect with anyone and everyone, connect with people in your field and preferably people you have met in person. Going to Meetups on topics of interest is a great way to grow you network.

I think was you fill out your LinkedIN profile doing the above two items will really help establish your LinkedIN profile.
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Anaya’s Answer

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Hi Christie,

From my personal experience, adding a photo helps get your profile recognized more.
In the "About" section, you can precisely explain what is your education background and the career path or industry that interests you.
Do not forget to include your accomplishments and projects that you have taken up during college.
Try to add more skills related to the industry you might be interested in and it would be great if you can have peers or seniors endorse the same.
Also, I suggest you to add the student organization role as part of your experience.
Like any social media, use relevant hashtags when posting new content.
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Morgan 🌐’s Answer

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Everyone has given great advice, so I'll add something else -

Learn how the algorithm works.

Links to articles are good, but they will penalize you for not keeping the content 'on' LinkedIn via shares, pinging people to the post, and hashtags.
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Jaypal’s Answer

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Many detail responses:
1. About yourself: Take a time to write down your bio: About yourself section. Get it proof read and then only upload.
2. Experience: Spend good amount of time on mentioned details under: Experience, Highlight your key roles and responsibilities.
3. Education: Highlight key roles you handled, key achievements
4. Publications: Do mention your publications and research paper link
5. Connections: Connect with people in your area of interest, people you met
6. Post articles, share post related to your area
7. Good professional photo and brief summary

Hope this is helpful. All the best
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Rachel’s Answer

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Looks like you've already gotten a lot of great advice already! As someone who currently works at LinkedIn, I would recommend checking out the "rock your profile" presentation for some quick tips on how to build a stellar LinkedIn profile! https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/business/en-us/marketing-solutions/agency/decks/Rock-Your-Profile---site-version.pdf

Rachel recommends the following next steps:

  • Check out "rock your profile" https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/business/en-us/marketing-solutions/agency/decks/Rock-Your-Profile---site-version.pdf
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Raghava’s Answer

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Hi Christie

Great Question!!! Its really important to build linkedin profile for a student. Here are the few tips for you.

Write an informative
profile headline.
Your headline is a short, memorable professional slogan. For example, “Honors student seeking marketing position.” Check out the profiles of students and recent alumni you admire for ideas.

Pick an appropriate photo.
LinkedIn isn’t Facebook. Upload a
high-quality photo (your profile will
be 7x more likely to be viewed) of
you alone, professionally dressed.
No party shots, cartoon avatars, or
puppy pics!

Show off your education.
Include all your schools, major(s)
and minor, courses, and study
abroad or summer programs. Don’t
be shy — LinkedIn is an appropriate
place to show off your GPA, test
scores, and honors or awards.

Develop a professional
Summary.
Your Summary statement is like the
first few paragraphs of your
best-written cover letter — concise
and confident about your
qualifications and goals. Include
relevant work and extracurriculars.

Fill “Skills & Expertise”
with keywords.
This section is the place to include
keywords and phrases that
recruiters search for. Find relevant
ones in job listings that appeal to
you and profiles of people who
have the kinds of roles you want.

Update your status regularly.
Posting updates helps you stay on
your network’s radar and build your
professional image. Mention your
projects, professional books or
articles, or events you’re attending.
Many recruiters read your feed!

Show your connectedness.
Groups you join appear at the
bottom of your profile. Joining
some shows that you want to
engage in professional
communities and learn the lingo.
Start with your university and
industry groups.

Collect diverse
recommendations.
The best profiles have at least one
recommendation for each position a
person has held. Recruiters are most
impressed by recommendations
from people who have directly
managed you.

Claim your unique
LinkedIn URL.
To increase the professional results
that appear when people search for
you online, set your LinkedIn profile
to “public” and create a unique URL
(e.g., www.linkedin.com/in/JohnSmith).

Share your work.
You can also add actual examples of
your writing, design work, or other
accomplishments on your profile,
where you can share rich media or
documents. What better way to sell
your skills than to show employers
exactly what you can produce?
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Rohit’s Answer

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Background photo
Use a high-resolution background photo on your profile. This will help you stand out from other candidates.
Headline
Recruiters have a limited amount of time. By making clear what kind of opportunity you are looking for, you are more likely to land that interview.

Summary
Your summary gives you the chance to tell recruiters a little bit about yourself, both your job experience and your personal life. Think of this as a much broader and slightly more casual version of a cover letter.

Experience
Mention up-to-date copy of your resume and examine your most recent position. Identify 4-5 items that would best describe your responsibilities and accomplishments

Writing a personalized connection request
Write a personalized comment when you send a request. This gives an insight to your profile in a very brief way.
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Ramya’s Answer

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Few of the best practises for building a good linked in account include:

1.Add your photo so that you are recognised.Your photo helps people recognize you.Make sure you have a professional photograph.
2.Make sure your education and the experience which you have got so far is well documented and highlighted.
3.Highlight your strengths for eg: if you are good at soft skills,coding etc so that you would get the right recruiter's attention.
4.Display your achievements.
5.Make sure you write an informative headline.
6.Reach out to your seniors/teachers to get endorsements .


Hope this helps :)
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Lauren’s Answer

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Hi Christie,

When I look at student's linkedin's who are interviewing for positions at my company I am consistently struck by a few things:

1) Photos: many have no photo at all. Others have a cropped group photo while others have a very casual photo. My recommendation on photos is to include a professional headshot. This doesn't need to be done by a professional, just that you are in business casual (at least) attire, standing up against a plain background (white or grey works best), and it's a clear high quality photo.

2) Tag Lines: I see a lot of people with tag lines that are very specific and potentially outdated for the role to which they applied. For example, they will say "I'm a senior at ZZ school and am pursuing internship opportunities in tax." But, they applied to an audit position. This can be confusing. My recommendation would be to keep the introduction detailed enough but not so detailed that it doesn't make sense for everything you've applied to or are considering pursuing.

3) Experience: I would recommend adding in the experience you have similar to how you would on a resume. Definitely include your work experience but don't be afraid to include leadership experience and on campus experience.

Thanks,

Lauren
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Capria’s Answer

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Christie,

I would include your role as a board member in the section for experience solely because it is great leadership experience that you are currently involved in. The skills you are obtaining from your position will help to carry you throughout your career path as well.

Capria
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Katya’s Answer

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Hi Christie, yes absolutely-it’s a great addition to your profile. While creating a LinkedIn profile- make sure you upload your resume. You want to have a professional photo of yourself.

Keep in mind- LinkedIn is a professional network-it’s often used for establishing a network, connecting with your colleagues. This shouldn’t be a place where you post personal pictures or sharing your personal thoughts. You want to remember-this is your virtual Brand-reputation-meaning everything you post-might be your reflection down the line.

Being proactive- sharing best practices, sharing about why your company is great and what have you accomplished is a great way to connect, create awareness about your professional background.

You could share inspirational quotes, resources that you use to develop your skills, career. Make sure you update your skills, education. Start to follow companies of your interest, make comments, make connections.

Best of luck
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Siobhan’s Answer

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Hi Christie,

Great question!

I would strongly recommend to include your role as an Executive Board member on your LinkedIn. Additionally, you should include all internships you have held and bulleted list of detailed roles and responsibilities.

Best of luck!

Siobhan
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Staci’s Answer

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LinkedIn is a great resource and tool to help build your online professional identity. Definitely include your extra curricular activities and personalize it a little bit too - make sure it is unique but remains professional. Join and be active in groups.
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Hanleigh’s Answer

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I love LinkedIn because you can easily transfer your resume onto your LinkedIn. First, you will want to include a professional profile photo and a cover photo that really represents your career interests. Your cover photo is one of the first things a person sees when looking at your account. You also a want a good summary. There is a lot of variation on how to write your summary. My personal recommendation is to include briefly what you've done in the past, what your currently doing, and what your future goal is. Your experiences should follow a similar format to your resume. I think any experience like internships, organizational leadership, jobs, and many other positions can be great experiences to include on your resume. Remember, not all of your experiences have to be a traditional job. You also have an opportunity to include any volunteer, awards, and education.
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Rebecca’s Answer

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I think everyone has given great advice! Another thing you can do in your free time is to take LinkedIn Learning courses. You can also take the skills quizzes, which can be found in the "Skills & Endorsements" section on your profile. These are low-stress and something fun to do when you want to feel productive during your spare time.
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Silas’s Answer

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Hi Christie,

This is a great question! I would recommend including your internship experience in detail, similar to your resume. I would also include all clubs or groups that you are a part of. Making sure to not just list the title but instead include a detail bulleted list of responsibilities. I would also recommend to join different groups and follow companies or people in the field you are interested in. I would also include a bio of yourself and what you are lookin for in your career.
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Jasanpreet Kaur’s Answer

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Here is the article which I recently wrote, this will help you in creating your LinkedIn account and also tapping the opportunities.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/linkedin-from-naive-expert-user-jasanpreet-kaur-bhatia


Good Luck!
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Sangameshwar’s Answer

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Hi Christie,

Good Question. LinkedIn profiles should be as accurate as possible to ensure your CV is in line with it. As a student, you would not have much experience to add but need to have the following.
1. Good Photo
2. Summary
3.Extracurricular activities / Experience
4. Projects you have done / Interested subject.
5. Contribution to society
6. Education details

Revisit you profile and do modification to have accurate information.

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Vaibhav’s Answer

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Be sure to feature any/all experience you have working with and/or leading others. Employers are always looking for individuals who: (1) are self-motivating, (2) follow directions and (3) work well with others. Any experience you do can list articulating these skills will help make your resume stand out.

You should definitely, I include your role as an executive board member. That is very impressive. Be sure to explain what you did in that role to help future employers understand better. Hope this helps and good luck!
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Nicola M.’s Answer

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Hi Christie,

I work for LinkedIn but I find myself with very little to add here :) Everyone has shared great advice!

Personally, I joined LinkedIn as a student in 2008/9ish and continually added to it over my career. It's a great place to stay connected with the people that you work with over the years and it helped to create a lot of opportunities for me over my career. We have created some LinkedIn Learning courses to help people create strong LinkedIn profiles, it might help :) https://blog.linkedin.com/2020/march/26/resources-to-help-you-navigate-the-challenges-of-todays-job-market
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Kari’s Answer

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There is a lot of great information here. Dont forget about recommendations. Recruiters often read those. Even if you dont have a lot of professional work experience, think about mentors, teachers and perhaps some of the volunteer work you have done. Be sure its still professional and performance related 😄.
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Suzanne’s Answer

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I disagree with a couple of the other answers, so I will tell you my advice. If you have a lot of work experience, then your role on the executive board would be under volunteering. HOWEVER, if you don't have a lot of work experience then I would like the role on the board under experience and not volunteering. The reason is that there are usually no standards for volunteers. You don't have to be good at what you do to be a volunteer. When I see someone's volunteer work on their linkedin page, I think that's great, they have causes they believe in. Being on the board is a whole different level of commitment and it tells me that you are good at something. I tell kids that if they position meant that you were voted in, required training, involved meetings different from just general volunteer meetings then you should make sure that it stands out.

Good luck!
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Philip’s Answer

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Hi Christie,

The quick answer is to put professional leadership roles in your Experience section. In the absence of other "real world" work experience this would be the next best thing and shows your initiative. Remember that you want to distinguish yourself from other equally qualified candidates and building up your experience asset is key. In this technology driven job market, I'm also seeing more emphasis on technical skills, so if you have used industry software applications, such as: R for Data Analysis, Python, Salesforce.com. Microsoft Project or other industry software tools then list them on your profile. This should be in addition to the non-technical skills associated with your target career field. Recruiters often rely on doing Keyword based searches, so the more relevant key words on your profile then the more attention you'll receive. I hope this helps and all the best in your career.

Best Regards,
Philip
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David’s Answer

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Everything that you do that is worth letting the network know you should put, LinkedIn is like a cyber resume were a lot of professional people, company, employer and recruiter will stop by your profile and take a look at your experience(s) you have and maybe recruit you or ask you for some networking recommendation. LinkedIn, main purpose as I am seeing is networking with profession in your interest, field, future career and etc. but there is also a lot of employer, recruiter, company, organization as well is on LinkedIn. So it is not limited for you to put or not put your experiences you have plus it is like a online resume for other people to see or network with you.
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Jessica Sera’s Answer

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Hi Christie,

Good to see you are looking to enhance your Linkedin profile. This is essential to hiring managers, recruiters, etc. I also had a similar concern when I wondered where to put my Board experience in college. I ended up putting this under the "Volunteer Experience" on my Linkedin profile. I would personally put only paid work experiences under "Experiences."

Here are some other tips!

Jessica Sera recommends the following next steps:

  • Network with people - feel free to message professionals in the field you are interested in
  • Follow hashtags, other people, and companies you like
  • Engage with others, endorse their skills, like, share, and comment on posts
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Absar Ul’s Answer

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Hi Christie,

Since everyone has shared their wonderful experience and advises. The only thing I would explicitly mention is to focus on recommendation sections, you can reach out to your peer groups, seniors, teachers, mentors for that.

It will surely help you to boost your linked in Profile.

Hope this helps :)
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John A.’s Answer

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Add anything and everything to your LinkedIn page. Every time you do something worth putting kn a resume, jot it down. Add it to LinkedIn when you get a chance.

Since you appear to be involved, ask your classmates, peers, professors, or anyone you trust to write a recommendation and/or endorse you on LinkedIn.

Also, try to remember the power of networks (network theory). Start making connections on LinkedIn. Shoot for 500. Eventually, people will seek YOU out.
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