Leveraging LinkedIn to boost your resume and your status as a young professional! It’s easy to enough to add study abroad to your resume or LinkedIn, but are you making the most of it?
To make sure of it, I’ve asked my friend and LinkedIn expert Bria here to teach us adding study abroad to LinkedIn. And, to make sure you’re making the most of your entire digital presence, grab the free guide below on creating and cultivating your perfect digital footprint.
Your professors said you shouldn’t pass up this opportunity.
Your fellow classmates were jealous that you would be visiting such impressive historical places.
While the cannolis in Italy were divine, and you loved visiting a true English pub, you’re left wondering how these life-changing moments will continue to benefit you after graduation. Namely, with regard to your professional aspirations.
With a basic LinkedIn profile, you can use these 5 steps to enhance your online resume.
Include Your Study Abroad Program/Study Abroad University
While somewhat obvious, some may think their studies abroad aren’t relevant to their careers.
Oh no, my friend.
Your travels are so worth documenting! Not only are they interesting, they are often crucial to your future success. Include where you traveled for school — such as the particular overseas university. Also, include the duration of your study abroad program. And, what subject(s) in particular you were studying.
Add Relevant Course Work
On LinkedIn, there is an option to add in classes you have taken. This is often an unnecessary element on profiles, especially if you’ve long since graduated from college. Yet, for the student traveler, it can be an added advantage — if used correctly.
There’s no need to include every single class you took while abroad. Simply include the ones that had the greatest impact. Or, perhaps the ones you felt challenged or stretched your previously held beliefs.
Add Any Scholarly Awards, Certificates, Programs, Projects, or Published Works
While studying abroad, list completions on your LinkedIn profile. This could include completing a program within your school, completing a large project, or being recognized for your accomplishments and received a prestigious award or certificate of completion. This makes your profile stand out from the crowd.
Treat this as a job listing. Use bullet points and explain in detail the different aspects or duties required of you to complete the project — the more detailed, the better. For instance, if you had one of your papers published in a prestigious journal, explain: the research process, if you were required to engage in any interviews, or any scientific or lab work that was necessary. This process will, of course, be different for each person.
To add work samples, navigate to your profile and move your cursor to the section to which you would like to add additional content.
Click “Add Media”. Select “Upload a File” if you want to display the sample on your profile directly. Or, type in the name of a website to link to the content. (I recommend converting your work to PDF from Word so other’s can’t copy and paste it). Then, click “Save”.
Note: If you don’t see the “Add Media” link, you can still add samples by clicking the file type next to “Add Media” at the bottom of each section on your profile.
Don’t sell yourself short! Go in depth as much as possible (without being too wordy). This way, any potential employer who stumbles across your profile will get a detailed sense of what you’re capable of accomplishing.
Publish Any Notable Works
Know what’s even better? Actually publishing any notable works you’ve written on the LinkedIn platform itself! LinkedIn Pulse allows users to publish their own original content straight to LinkedIn’s website, similar to a user’s own personal blog.
So that 25-page paper you slaved over all semester while touring the country in Czechoslovakia? While you don’t need to publish the whole thing on LinkedIn (seriously, that would be way too long), maybe create a condensed version for your profile. Make sure any work you are posting is relevant to your major or any type of work you want to do in the future.
Remember, your goal through your “blog” is to post high-quality content that is easily digestible, valuable, unique, and above all, professional.
Network with Well-Known Professors
If you were lucky enough to study under distinguished faculty, take the opportunity to add them to your circle on LinkedIn. Fortunately, LinkedIn makes it a breeze to find and connect with current and past alumni on the platform.
Navigate to the “Connections” tab in the main navigation at the top of the screen. Click the “Add Connections” link in the drop-down menu. From there, you can import contacts from your various email accounts as well as receive connection suggestions. To reconnect with old connections, use the “Find Alumni” feature. Use the “Keep in Touch” option to stay close with any current connections you may have. You can also receive notifications (such as if they change jobs, birthdays, etc.) from your contacts if you happen to fall out of touch.
If your study abroad experience was particularly successful and your professors were impressed with your work, go the next step and ask for a recommendation. Look to your references on your resume for people who would be willing to write you a LinkedIn recommendation. They’ve already agreed to be a reference, so it’s not a stretch for them to give you a personal, online testimonial, too.
Your time spent studying abroad was likely one of the most valuable experiences of your life thus far. Don’t let that value slip away without harnessing its power on the most professional online networking platform.
By using these steps to strengthen your profile, your travel experiences as a student will continue to assist your career ambitions for years to come.