When you’re applying for your first job, or trying to build your first professional network, you might feel as though you want to share examples of your work on LinkedIn to prove your skills and knowledge in a particular area. But if you haven’t worked before, it may feel as though you don’t have much of a portfolio to share on the site. Don’t be discouraged – your assignments and achievements as a student can be a great representation of your knowledge and experience so far.
Here are some ways you can share examples of your student work on LinkedIn:
How to add examples of your student work to LinkedIn:
Volunteer experience and causes
You may not have a long career history, but have you done any work experience, internships, or community volunteer work during your time at university? You can list these experiences on your LinkedIn profile to show that you have initiative and a good work ethic.
There’s a section on your LinkedIn profile page especially designed for you to showcase projects you’ve worked on. If there’s one thing you’ve worked on a lot of as a student, it's projects and assignments. So why not use them to your advantage? Choose a couple that really show off your strengths and skills and upload them as attachments to your profile. You can share PDF files and images in this section of LinkedIn, so be creative and upload your best work. Maybe it’s a great graph, or a really well-prepared report, or an essay that you’re proud of. Show it off!
Social groups and clubs
Quite often a hiring decision will be made based upon your cultural fit with an organisation, so show off your social skills and community spirit by sharing details of your affiliations with social clubs like sporting teams, study groups, and other university organisations and clubs. Do you have a photo of the sports team you play with, or the university social club that you help to run events for, or similar? Try uploading a group photo to show your team or club celebrating a success in their field or a special occasion.
Ask other students that you’ve worked with on group assignments, or teachers and lecturers that have taught you, to write a recommendation for you on your LinkedIn profile. This can help prove your strengths as a team member and diligent worker. They can also help to validate your knowledge in the subject areas that you’ve studied.
As you progress in your career and the spotlight is turned on to your professional history, the details of your education will be less prominent in your job applications – you’ll end up simply listing the title of your qualifications and where you studied. But at the moment, your educational history is your experience, so make it a strong feature on your LinkedIn profile. Show your knowledge in your field by listing the names of the units you have studied, or by providing a summary of your areas of interest within your course.
Remember that even though you’re young and haven’t worked before, you have worked hard to finish your university qualification, and that’s something to be proud of. Think outside the square, and share any experiences that you think may be relevant to someone considering hiring you.