careers

LinkedIn Tips for College Students

LinkedIn tips for college students

As a college student, it’s never too early to construct a resume. Starting early gives student the chance to constantly make sure everything is grammatically correct and up to date. However, in the digital world employers and programs look at much more than resumes to review potential candidates. One of the largest growing networks today is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social media service for professionals and is one of the key tools for career networking and employment. As of 2016, LinkedIn holds over 467 million users, 40 million of which are college students or recent college grads. If you’ve decided to create a LinkedIn, it’s important to understand how utilizing the platform affects your success rate. Here are a few LinkedIn Tips for college students.

Profile Photographs

One of the most essential aspects of a good LinkedIn profile is the photo. Like other social media sites, i.e. Facebook, having an appropriate photo helps the viewer connect with you and legitimizes your account. Because of the various spammers and scammers lurking on the internet, it’s likely that other users, recruiters, and companies may feel weary about “connecting” with a user who doesn’t have a photograph. The key to a good LinkedIn photo is a clear headshot only featuring you. It doesn’t need to be a professionally taken photo, but looking clean and wearing a nice top is a must. Also, make sure to smile! Employers are looking for enthusiastic people.

List Your Skills

LinkedIn allows its members to easily list their skills in their profile. Additionally, LinkedIn allows you to put your skills in a specific order and lists the top three “featured skills” on your profile. The remaining skills are visible by clicking the “view more” button. Therefore, it is extremely important to think through which three skills best represent you. By entering your skills,  you allow employers to get a good understanding of what you’re capable of doing. LinkedIn also allows its users to obtain “endorsements” on their listed skills. Past employers and other members can verify you’re proficient in your these skills based on who and how many people endorse you. But of course, be careful who you ask!

 Expand Your Network

With LinkedIn’s huge member database, learning how to grow a strong and cohesive network of connections is one of the most important LinkedIn factors for college students. Like other social media networks, LinkedIn allows you to “connect” with people. These people could be classmates, coworkers, friends, whoever! In addition, college students have the special benefit of connecting with alumni. If you’re applying for a position, check LinkedIn to see if anyone who graduated from your school works there. Use this angle to connect and ask for advice and recommendations- not jobs. Like any other social engagement, make sure you’re not obtrusive.

Post Articles

Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn users have the opportunity to share articles or write their own and post them on their profile. Sharing and writing articles is another one of the best practices on LinkedIn for college students. Articles can be blog posts, recent news in your field, and generally interesting things. Not only does this provide employers and recruiters with more information about you, but it also helps give them a sense of who you are. However, be very, very careful to only post relevant and appropriate content to avoid offending and upsetting anyone. A general rule of thumb is to avoid politics and overly opinionated pieces.  

LinkedIn is one of many social media platforms that currently has millions of active users. With so many social platforms bidding for your time, it may seem unnecessary to join. However, LinkedIn isn’t about sharing your favorite family photos or mistakes you made last weekend.  It’s focused on the professional job market and connecting with current or potential employers to build a strong professional network. Use these LinkedIn tips to create a high performing account for success during and after college!

Careers in Demand Upon Graduation

Once upon a time….simply obtaining a bachelor’s degree was enough to be sure that you could enter the job market in your respective field and make a solid income. In today’s economy however, there are many factors that contribute to your chances of landing a job after graduation. One of the biggest factors to consider is the field in which you are entering. While it is wise to choose a major that sparks your interests, it is also practical to pursue a degree that will lead to opportunities to have a career that is in high demand. To get started, here are some of the top careers that are in demand for recent college graduates.Career_Blog

  1. Public Relations Specialist: If you have a knack for communicating and love to shine a positive light on every situation, PR may be the field for you. A great thing about this field is the very high expected growth rate, which is 23% by 2020.
  1. Elementary School Teacher: Teachers have an advantage of stability that many occupations lack which makes up for the average salary of $40,434; the lowest on this list. However, the projected growth rate is relatively high at 18% by 2020.
  1. Accountant: If you’re a lover of numbers and good at math, you’ll be glad to hear that accountants’ average salary has increased by $10,000 in the last three years. Combine this with a projected 16% job growth rate and it’s clear to see why this field is a good choice for recent college grads.
  1. Market Research Analyst: If you happen to be a number lover who also has strong communication skills, marketing could be your calling. With a projected growth rate of a whopping 41%, marketing is easily one of the best choices for recent college graduates. The average salary is $67,380.
  1. Software Developer: Do you have strong programming and coding skills? If so, you’ll be happy to know that software developer rings in at number one on our list of best careers for recent grads. With a projected growth rate of 32% by 2020 and an average annual salary of $102,550, pursuing a career as a software developer is a smart move.

Resumes Gone Wild: Is There Such a Thing As Sending Out Too Many Resumes?

Resumritis: a crippling disease that hits many job seekers, especially in the college realm. Symptoms usually include sending out an abundance of the same generic resume with the hopes that someone, somewhere will offer you at least an interview. The only cure for this disease is simply taking the time to tailor each resume to each specific job.

Johnny sent over 100 job applications out and didn’t receive any offers!

He’s probably suffering from resumritis…

That’s right, people.  Resumritis affects a lot of people, but especially college students who are looking for a job right after they graduate. Is it real? Well, the concept is, but a quick search on WebMD won’t yield any results!

You see, people are taught this concept that sending out the same resume to every place you apply will eventually get you a job. But, is that really what you want – just a job? What about your dream job or that job that comes close to it? Don’t you think tailoring your resume to the interests and requirements the employer is looking for would gain you better results?

CollegeGrad.com did a survey some years ago that concluded that nearly 59 percent of all survey takers said that they send out 30 or more resumes in search of an entry-level job.

“Even in a down market, employment experts maintain that a tailored resume is the best approach,” said Adeola Ogunwole, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for CollegeGrad.com. “Instead of sending out as many resumes as possible, applicants may enjoy greater success if they focus on understanding the companies to which they are applying and modifying resumes to fit the exact qualifications needed for specific positions.”

In some cases, sending a gazillion resumes works out. But not only is that a poor habit, but it’s also a hapless way of thinking. Most people are unhappy at their current jobs because they took whatever fish was pulling on their bait in order to earn a little extra cash. Although some people don’t have a choice; if you’re given the opportunity to patiently apply for your dream job, then take it.

Some helpful tips:

  1. Read each job posting CAREFULLY. There’s nothing worse than someone sending you a resume or a cover letter that doesn’t answer any of the questions the employer was looking for. Not only is it wasting their time, but quite frankly it’s wasting your time as well. You want to use your time wisely, and reading the job description carefully will alleviate any confusion. Plus, you want to make sure their requirements fit what you’re looking for and willing to accept if offered the position.
  2. Tailor your experience to each job. If you have interned for six different companies that taught you six different skills, try to list the jobs that would best fit the employer’s faux pas. Even more, list the skills that each job taught you that match the position’s requirements. Can you list all of your past experiences? Sure! But if a marketing job is seeing a Social Media worker, chances are you might not want to include your work as you brother’s baby sitter.
  3. Resume length. Now this varies for each position. Students interested in working in any form of education typically list all of their experience…which can add up to two or more pages. Some companies, however, only want a one-page resume. For instance: typically I will send a two-page resume to internships I’m applying for. However, when I applied to grad school I spent two hours – yes, two hours – scaling my resume down to one page. Although it was time consuming, in the end I was happy that I took my time to produce a quality resume.
  4. Have fun! We forget to have fun sometimes, and I’m sure you’re wondering how you can have fun developing a resume. Easy: ask your friends to proofread your resume over dinner; teach your siblings how to write a resume through them watching you write yours; or, ask your parents if you can look over theirs if they have one. Trying to make the most out of any situation will help you in the end!

-Compton

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