LinkedIn-Profiles: High School Edition

Written by: Silvia Xie

Edited by: Joyce Li

Disclaimer: LIBerate Leaders in Business are not responsible for any repercussions or results accomplished using these steps. These are based on a plethora of experiences from various high school students.

Why set up an account in high school?

  • Potential — you aren’t hinged by a fixed job or university acceptance quite yet; people don’t want to miss out on potential especially in high school students
  • Networking — you can connect with other high-achieving youth in your area, or even connect with university undergrad students (especially during a pandemic; online networking is so much more critical)
  • Opportunities — there exist many groups on LinkedIn that can connect individuals to really great opportunities to gain more leadership experience, etc.

What makes LinkedIn different from other platforms?

  • Formality — LinkedIn is where you can present your best self and show off your achievements, awards, and experiences!
  • Larger populations of professionals to connect with and interact with

Profile Setup Tips:

1.Completely setup your profile.

  • Blank profiles are disengaging, sketchy etc. so if you can fill out as much of the profile as you can — this will benefit the impression you make on viewers
  • Your headshot photo should be semi-formal to formal
  • This depends on who you want to network with, your profile should convey a parallel and appropriate degree of professionalism
  • Fill out the “About” and “Experience” section; for the latter, only put the most important items (limit it to 3–4) including club positions, volunteer work, jobs etc.
  • Your resume (if you have one) will be extremely useful for patching any spots requiring information

2. Put in a Bio that reveals potential

  • For instance, you can put the school you attend in your bio, rather than just “high school student” — the ambiguity is unnecessary
  • “High School student” is generic and as only a few people know the name of your educational institution, it limits your opportunities
  • Instead, try a “Position at a Club”, “Special Program Member — ie. AP/IB”, or even if you’re in the pre-IB program, “IB Candidate” works as well. This will help people know you more, and better gauge your potential as a high school student

3. Don’t put a default/automated message.

  • After connecting with someone, DO NOT send automated messages, it does not help, and you are not going to get a response from them when you truly need it.

4. The type of people you connect with will appear more frequently in your recommendations.

  • Connecting with people from certain schools/clubs/universities will increase the appearance of their profiles. This is a great way to connect with professionals in a specific field, or from a specific university.

5. Ignore those weird “Business Opportunity” messages

  • If someone is offering you a job/business interview and you don’t personally know this person, you probably shouldn’t respond — especially if there are typos.

6. Likes and other forms of engagement are much harder to accrue on posts

  • Posts on LinkedIn don’t gain as much traction as posts on other platforms (i.e Instagram) → this is because LinkedIn has less users in general, and the user base is older
  • LinkedIn is more so a platform for making professional connections, and less so a platform for popularity

7. Contacting others

Intros like:

Hi, how are you?” are going to be ignored. They are generic and there is no call to action.

Hi, can you give me a job/recommendation?” is crude and if this person does not know you whatsoever comes off as desperate and alienating.

Instead, approach others using a formal email message.

ie. Good (time of day),

I hope this message finds you well. I am _______ and I’m inquiring about xyz. If you could help with abc, I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to this message.

8. Use the app.

  • Posting is easier on a laptop however, connecting at a faster rate is better done using a touch-screen interface.

9. Join groups of interest.

  • These are like giant chat-space communities. They allow you to connect with like-minded individuals in different areas.
  • Pick the ones most relevant to your interests.

10. Get endorsed by acquaintances

  • This functionality is at the bottom of someone’s profile and it is a functionality that can be turned off.
  • These boost your credibility, and make your profile more cohesive

Lastly, 11. Don’t take achievements personally. In a world of productivity/hustle culture, it’s unhealthy to overwork yourself. Different schools have different opportunities, grade inflations/deflations, clubs etc. Try not to buy into the toxic competitiveness, and measure your success by your own metrics.

Thanks for reading,

The LIBerate Team

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