Category Archives: LinkedIn

9 ways to jumpstart your job search over winter break WITHOUT networking

kai is sad because santa didn't give her presents

You probably know the holidays are a great time to network. I’ve even written about why. But I also know what you’ve just been through. A week of all-nighters, cramming for exams and eking out term papers. The last thing you probably want to do is head home and start setting up informational interviews.

So, instead, here are nine easy (read: online) things you can do to avoid underachiever’s guilt and get your parents off your back. Happy holidays from me to you 😉

  1. Add this semester’s classes and accomplishments to your resume.
  2. While you’re at it, update LinkedIn.
  3. Write down one great story from the semester that you could use in an interview.
  4. Subscribe to five career-relevant blogs.
  5. Upload your best assignments to SlideShare or Scribd.
  6. Find 10 career-relevant people to follow on Twitter.
  7. Not on Twitter? Get on Twitter.
  8. Start a gratitude journal.
  9. Identify three people to ask for informational interviews next semester. (Hey, I didn’t say networking wasn’t part of the plan; I just said you don’t have to do it now.)
Image credit: sandwichgirl

One thing: Check out LinkedIn’s blog

This week is “Seek Week” on LinkedIn’s blog. That means they’re posting a series of articles written by LinkedIn users to help recent grads. Some of articles tell you how to use LinkedIn for your job search, but others talk generally about job searching challenges and solutions. One of today’s, for example, is “Add more oomph to your job search!“. Check it out!

(And kudos to LinkedIn for helping grads, driving users to their product and getting good PR at the same time!)

Social media & personal branding slides

As promised, here are the slides from last night’s presentation. Thanks to everyone who came — I hope you got something out of it!

There is one concept about Twitter that I wanted to mention but forgot, so I’ll do it here. It’s how to effectively search for people and companies.

If you know you want a job in a certain location, with a certain company or in a certain field, it’s great to follow people who are already doing what you want to be doing. To find them, you go to Twitter’s advanced search function —, and click on advanced. Here’s the link.

From there, you can search for people near a certain place or tweeting about certain things (companies, industries or ideas — anything you’re interested in).

It’s really powerful to combine LinkedIn’s company search with Twitter. With the company search, you can find companies based on name, region or industry. LinkedIn can also give you a list of people who work for the company. The best bet is to hone in on the human resources contact(s) and see if they’re on Twitter. If not, see if anyone listed is on Twitter and follow them.

Writing an effective LinkedIn summary

As more and more of us are joining LinkedIn (you’re planning to join, or have already, right??) I want to give a few examples of great LinkedIn summaries and share some sites with tips to help you create your own.

Before we get too far, it’s important to understand what the summary is and what it isn’t. It’s a place to define who you are, what you (want to) do, and why you’re unique, according to online identity expert Kirsten Dixson). It’s not a job title, list of specialties or a description of previous work experience. It’s also not something you should leave blank (especially if you’re trying to get a job via social networking).

Allison Massiello
and Sherrie Donecker (connect with them — they’re friendly and fellow seniors!) are two UNC seniors who I think have crafted great summaries, but for different reasons and purposes. (Thanks for letting me share your profiles, ladies!)

Both are journalism majors seeking employment, but their summaries convey different sets of information and expectations. Sherrie knows the type of position she’d like and her geographic preference (account management/media planning and NYC), while Allison has a set of skills she’d like to use (strategic communication and public speaking) but isn’t set on a position or location.

Allison’s summary: A creative and hardworking young professional focused on growing in the field of public relations. Led two 80+ student organizations while also studying as a full-time student. Strong written and oral communication skills with a passion for public speaking.

Sherrie’s summary: Enthusiastic and vibrant student graduating in May with in depth agency and industry experience and a focus in advertising and the arts, specifically dance and theatre. Interested in an entry-level position with an advertising agency in account management or media planning in New York City, though not limited to NYC. Currently preparing to move to the city post-graduation. Also open to positions in arts administration and marketing in New York as well.

Sherrie and Allison both explain who they are, what they want and what makes them unique. Notice that part of being unique is the value you bring to an organization from your past experiences. For Sherrie, it’s having agency experiences, and for Allison, it’s leading two large organizations. Most importantly, though, they present themselves eloquently and succinctly, while showing passion and excitement.

Here are some resources to help you do the same:

  • Are you making these mistakes on your LinkedIn profile? Scroll down to the Do’s and Don’ts. One of the most important: don’t refer to yourself in the third person! It sounds stuffy. Your summary should be semi-personal and reflect your personality.
  • Write your LinkedIn profile for your future Chris Brogan’s advice might seem like it’s for someone who’s been working for a while (and it is) but there are some tips that can help you make your profile stand out. Keep the general concept of writing for future positions (ones you might not be qualified for on paper) in mind.
  • Grow your brand: Get started on LinkedIn Check out #2, specifically the advice that your summary should contain the “keywords you want to own.” So if you want to go into psychology, include the word psychology!

Do you need help with your LinkedIn summary? Leave me a comment, or get in touch, and let’s brainstorm on the best way to tell your story!

Must read: 7 Secrets to Getting Your Next Job Using Social Media

Personal branding expert Dan Schawbel just posted this article to Mashable (if you’ve never heard of it, Mashable is a site with tons of social media advice). He outlines seven ways to use social media to land your next job.

His strategy includes everything from LinkedIn and Twitter to advertising your personal brand with Google AdWords and Facebook ads. Here are the basics in list form, but read the full article — it’s a quick read and definitely worth it!

  1. Research people instead of jobs. Figure out the companies you want to work for, find out who runs their human resources department and contact that person directly, with a personal message.
  2. Let the jobs come to you by showing your enthusiasm and knowledge of the field through a blog.
  3. Build a network on Twitter by providing credible, insightful information and commentary about your field.
  4. Build your network on LinkedIn and make your profile stand out from the crowd.
  5. Create Google and Facebook ads that succinctly and effectively articulate your brand. The article has a step-by-step process to make sure you include the right information.
  6. Make a video resume and put it on YouTube. (Take note of Dan’s advice though: If you don’t have a lively, outgoing personality — or just aren’t comfortable in front of the camera — don’t create one.)
  7. Subscribe to blogs that have job listings. There’s a list in the article. Lots of industry-specific associations also have job boards, so consider adding those to your RSS feed, as well.

LinkedIn launches Grad Guide

Still a little unsure about LinkedIn? Now the company itself has decided to produce a guide about how to get started using it.

It’s a three-step guide to creating and building your LinkedIn presence.

  1. Present yourself – explains how to build your profile
  2. Get connected – explains how to connect and join groups (there’s is also a Class of 2009 group!)
  3. Build the good word – explains why your LinkedIn reputation matters and how to build it

The page also has “advanced” options, like how to use applications and research companies.

Of course, there are also tons of articles about using LinkedIn to find a job and network. Here are some of my favorites:

UCS presentation on personal branding, new media and your job search

Gary Miller at UCS just let me know that he’ll be giving a presentation called “Personal Branding, New Media and Your Job Search” on Wednesday, April 15 at 4 p.m. in 239 Hanes.

He said it will be introductory in scope, but if lots of the topics on this blog interest you, odds are you’ll enjoy (and get something out of) the presentation.

Thanks for sending the information along, Gary!