Whether you're a people person or a lone wolf, there is a networking opportunity available for you. If you're not sure where to start, schedule an appointment with a career coach to find out how to get started.
- Attend a networking workshop (watch for announcements in 'What's Up' emails and for events on the IU East calendar).
- Meet with a career coach to learn how you can make connections with community members or IU alumni working in your field.
- Volunteer or work with organizations that engage leaders in the community.
- Create a stand-out LinkedIn profile (watch the video below for an overview, then meet with a career coach to review your profile), and review your other social media accounts from the perspective of potential employers.
Description of the video:
Hey, IU East students! This is Kara from Career Services. If you know me, you know that I'm a fan of educating students on the importance of networking. Well, lucky for you and for me, isolating at home doesn't mean you're no longer able to network with professionals.
One exceptional way to continue to make professional connections and search for positions from the comfort of your own bedroom is LinkedIn. According to LinkedIn's Marketing Solutions blog, 61 million LinkedIn users or senior level influencers, and 40 million are in decision-making positions. So if you're thinking you won't be able to connect with anyone that could potentially help your career or help you land a job. Think again.
One important aspect to making a good impression is having a decent profile. So to help you, I've created a very short presentation with six simple steps to improving your LinkedIn.
Your profile picture. Having no picture is really not an option these days. Linkedin reports that LinkedIn profiles with head shots have 21 times more views and nine times more connection requests. That is a lot more opportunity to connect.
Now there's a difference between regular social media profile pics and LinkedIn profile pics. You want to look like you're dressed in line with the position that you're seeking. So go ahead and throw on a blazer, throw on a tie. It's certainly not going to hurt you at all.
Your LinkedIn connections don't need to see how cute your boyfriend is or how adorable kitten is or any family picks, it's just you looking professional. Definitely, absolutely, positively no party pics, no flashy accessories. Remember, you want to present your best professional self here.
Use your Headline. One of the most frequent problems that I see with IU East students' LinkedIn profiles is that they don't properly use their headline. I venture to say around 98% of campus headlines just say "student at IU East". And that's just the default if you don't put a headline and at all, and it's certainly not going to get you noticed. Instead, use all 120 characters and add the experience that you have or that you're searching for. And include hard skills and keywords that will make you more searchable and memorable.
Similar to a Google search bar, LinkedIn will scan your profile to look for keywords and determine your value to certain recruiters. This makes it important to litter your profile with industry specific terms, aka the language of your field of study. So if you're not sure what the language is because you're just now breaking into that field, try doing a little research on the profiles of some more seasoned professionals that are working within your field already and have been for a while. Hint hint, littering your resume with keywords will also help you get through manual recruiter scans and Applicant Tracking Systems when applying for jobs the traditional way.
This is really not the time to be modest. If your GPA is reflection of your hard work or if you're involved in student organizations, honors and awards, research, this is the place to record it.
Show your work. This is an opportunity to not only tell your connections what you've been doing, but to show them what you've been doing. This definitely takes it a step further than a traditional resume where they just have to take your word for it. You can actually upload projects, presentations, blogs, videos, design portfolios, and research papers so recruiters can get an idea of your skill set, abilities and interests. Don't miss out on utilizing this feature. It might be the best part.
Collect recommendations. You've already been working on your professional network whether you were doing it intentionally or not. You've made connections with IU East professors and staff, high school teachers, managers and supervisors at your job, and likely many others. Ask those connections to write a recommendation of your skills and show the world what you have to offer a future employer. Request the recommendation right from your profile page by clicking the Request a Recommendation link. Then you will just type the name of the LinkedIn connection you want to ask, and LinkedIn will send the email request. It's really that simple, so don't be shy, just ask.
So that's all I have for you. That's my six simple steps. Now, create or update your LinkedIn and get to connecting.