Tips on How to Use LinkedIn to Search for Colleges (Plus Bonus Hacks for Students)

How to use LinkedIn to search for colleges

Flickr user Sheila Scarborough

In today’s fast-paced world, it is no longer enough for students to build their social media profiles, but it is also important to showcase it on the right platforms. LinkedIn needs no introduction for being the best professional networking platform out there. But what is unknown is that LinkedIn can be used to extract information about different colleges and can also be used to connect with people studying in that college.

Here are some tips and tricks on how to use LinkedIn to search for colleges:

Leverage The Alumni Tool

Want to know who is currently studying in your new college? Do you want to make some connections before applying and see if there are people with the same interests as you? Then, the LinkedIn Alumni Tool is your go-to. With 6 filters available to narrow down the search results, you can search for people who are studying in the same college, same majors, or even have the same skills. Connect with them and strike up a conversation and they will definitely come handy in your new college!

Connect With People You Don’t Know

As youngsters, you have always been advised to accept friend requests from people you know very well on Facebook. But, in LinkedIn, there is an underlying need to connect with as many people as possible with similar interests.

This is helpful when you are applying for a new college. If you are already connected with any of the faculty or the admission committee of the new college, you are one step ahead of others.

Pro Tip: When you want to connect with someone, it is usually best to always personalize your connection request. If you have loved their projects, express your admiration. If you want to connect with them because they are studying in the same college that you want to go, you can mention this as well. Typing in reasons for a connection request gives a personal touch and is great for a conversation starter!

Use Pulse To Garner Attention

Pulse is an under-utilized tool on LinkedIn. Publishing on LinkedIn allows you to reach out to the right kind of people. This is especially helpful if you are eyeing for a spot in a coveted university. If you are connected with any of the members of the admission committee in LinkedIn, they might notice your excellently written articles and might even send you a message saying a few good words. This is a big plus point to help you stand out from the pool of applicants.

Boolean Search

Boolean Search is really a boon for students looking for information related to their new colleges. A set of keywords like AND, OR and quotes can be used to refine your search results.

For example, if you are interested to know who the faculty is going to be for a particular subject that you decided upon, you can type in [COLLEGE NAME] AND [TITLE] and find it out. Using AND displays results that contain both the terms. Using OR displays results that contain either of the terms involved or both.

Bonus Hacks For Students

Personalize Your LinkedIn Profile URL

When one creates a LinkedIn Profile, LinkedIn automatically assigns a URL to each of the profiles, which mostly contains unwanted letters and numbers after your name. This not only looks bad for the eye but also gives an unprofessional feel. As students, it is important to look professional on a professional networking site. Hence, the first thing you should do after you create a LinkedIn profile is to customize your profile URL. Here are the steps:

  • On the upper right-hand corner of your LinkedIn page, click on Me > View Profile.
  • Click on “Edit Your Public Profile”.
  • Now click on “Edit Public Profile URL”.
  • Edit your URL so that your name appears as it is on your resume.

Being A Part Of The Right Groups

Groups in LinkedIn are a great source to strengthen your network. First, ensure that you are part of the right groups. Alumni groups are a must to be part of and so are groups related to your fields of interest. When you are surrounded by like-minded people, knowledge transfer happens quickly and there may also be a possibility that someone in the group might be really impressed by your works and may even offer collaboration or that coveted job.

Pro Tip: Contribute to the group by adding value-either by posting good articles or by responding timely to others’ posts.

Ensure That Your LinkedIn Profile Is Complete

A complete LinkedIn profile gets more views than the ones in which some information is missing. Here are some points to keep in mind while completing your profile:

Use a professional photo, in which 60% of it has only your face. If you are in a formal dress in the photo, then that’s a plus.

Write an amazing summary by stating not just your technical skills, but also your soft skills. The summary is the best place for others to get to know who you really are. So, make that count.

Include a call to action in your summary, which is usually your professional email address or your contact number so that people feel free to contact you if they need any help from you or if they want to collaborate with you.

While getting recommendations from a person who is in a high post may seem tantalizing, keep in mind that it’s primarily more important for that person to know you and your works well. This way, they can write out a detailed recommendation that mirrors your skills efficiently.

As you can see, LinkedIn’s features can be used to get better information about your new college. Also, the bonus hacks will definitely help you to portray a polished LinkedIn profile, which in turn raises your brand value. For more LinkedIn tips and hacks, visit!

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