GC’s Career Center offers LinkedIn workshops for students to revise, refine and make the most of their online professional profiles to help them make connections and become more suitable to be selected for jobs and internships.
“There are a number of benefits of attending a LinkedIn meetup,” said Dwayne Peterson, assistant director of career development at GC. “LinkedIn remains the best online tool for creating and promoting a professional presence online, as well as for building and expanding a professional network.”
The sessions which are hosted every other week, last for about an hour and are open to all students.
“The Career Milestones four-year plan is in place to help you start thinking about your professional image before you graduate,” said Career Development Coordinator Shameka Mapp. “80% of jobs are in the hidden job market. They are not advertised online.”
Each session is tailored to the needs of the attendees. A career advisor covers the steps of creating a competitive LinkedIn profile and explains how to leverage the site for networking.
Michael Leslie, a senior management major who attended a recent LinkedIn meeting, recently acquired a logistics internship.
“I applied to many internships and use LinkedIn to network with companies versus doing a Google search,” Leslie said. “It’s a great way to research employers and connect with them.”
Mapp explained that the job market is flooded, so students must be proactive in tapping into it to make the most of their LinkedIn experience. She said employers are more likely to hire those with internal connections to the business.
“Just like we have social media profiles, we have professional ones as well,” Mapp said.
Mapp recommended students personalize their URL, add study abroad experience and portfolio work. She also said to avoid uploading a resume or paying for the premium account.
“Employers should pay for the premium account, not the job seeker,” Mapp said.
To help them achieve their professional goals, Mapp encourages students to clean up their online profiles, like Twitter and Instagram, and mark their professional presence by following through with the career planning milestones.
GC’s class of 2019 is the first graduating class to have successfully completed these four milestones: career assessment, resume review, mock interview and senior check-in. The process is spread out over the full four-year term, one milestone per year.
“We find that most students have LinkedIn profiles because someone told them they needed one, but they [the students] do not know how to fully use the platform,” Peterson said. “It can also be challenging for students to find time to meet with a career advisor specifically about LinkedIn or work on their LinkedIn profile, as it does take some intentional effort as well as an understanding of basic professional etiquette to maximize its benefits.”
Peterson said that attending a LinkedIn meetup can aid a student’s professional development and expand their networking.
“Students who attend will increase their understanding of how to fully use LinkedIn’s features and leave feeling accomplished as it relates to their professional goals.”
The Career Center is open for students from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. - noon on Friday.
Photo by Lexie Baker | Staff Photographer