Undergrads can use LinkedIn, and other reminders

October 25, 2011 at 8:29 am | Posted in Intern Advice | Leave a comment
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Jyl McLaughlin

As a career services professional you probably find yourself regularly “parenting” students on etiquette this time of year for Career Fairs and On-campus Interviewing.   You may hear yourself in your sleep giving tips such as “be sure you shine your shoes and iron your shirt”; “be sure to get a good night’s sleep”; “ be sure to research the company” or EVEN “be sure to brush your teeth and wash your hands!”.  I know, I have had to do it myself-it does happen!

You may also be coaching on tips related to social media issues such as appropriate use or private access to Facebook pages, Tweets and Blogs.  It is important that students are regularly aware of their electronic footprint and what comes up under their name in a Google search.  And in “old technology” form, remind students to have a simple and mature email address for employers to use as well as a formal outgoing message on their voice mail.  I was working with a young college student this summer and when I called their voice mail it started first with a pause and noisy background, then went “ Hey guys, it’s me. I will get back to you when I can”.  Hey guys??…I have also had the experience of a student’s outgoing message with a recorded rap song including swear words.  Not good… be sure to test these areas.

Finally, and the focus of this blog post, is to encourage your students to start a professional LinkedIn profile.  Many undergrad age students do not have one, and they may feel they are not “old” enough for it. But in a search while writing this blog, I found over 500 intern positions posted of all kinds.  Some great contacts for students to make on LinkedIn are not just those of other friends, but those of parents, friends of parents, past co workers and bosses, etc.  These networking contacts may just lead to some internal networking at good companies with postings for  internships and co-ops.

Tips for your students on LinkedIn:

  1. Complete the profile with an updated resume, conservative “head” shot for a picture and recommendations from past supervisors , coaches, or even professors!
  2. Be sure they have an understanding of their preferred occupation and industry for use in the title and summary (Their major may not be a direct link to industry and occupation).
  3. Leadership roles:  Be sure students who have leadership roles in extracurricular groups or athletics, that this is noticeable on their profile.
  4. Skills: in the “other” section on LinkedIn is housed a Skill section that helps people identify skills and add them to their profile which also indicates others who have the same skill sets.  This could help students become more familiar with using the language that others are using in similar occupations and industries as well as develop the language for use in interviewing.

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