It’s inevitable; college ends, jobs begin and the next chapter of life starts.
College students are learning to network their way through life and the social media site LinkedIn is providing them with employment outlets previously not available. With help from professors and staff at Castleton, they are realizing just how important it is to become “linked in.”
Director of Career Services Renée Beaupre White called LinkedIn “an interactive business card.” She said, “LinkedIn is being viewed as a professional Facebook.”
“LinkedIn is a great way for recruiters to find you. It’s a win-win for both the recruiter and the student,” said Beaupre White.
Career Services teamed up with the Academic Support Center to host a LinkedIn event on Feb. 25. The workshop provided the opportunity for students to learn about the site and why they should be on it.
Eleven students attended and all were given a LinkedIn profile sheet to get started right away with.
The attendance was down by three people from the last event, but Doe Dahm, the Tutoring & TRIO Communications specialist, was pleased with the outcome.
“I thought it was a good group and that they were engaged,” said Dahm.
Beaupre White agreed.
“Students were focused and asked good questions,” she said.
Among the 11 students who attended, senior Alexander Denton said he learned a fair amount from the workshop. He did not have a LinkedIn profile before going to it, but had the idea of starting one on the backburner.
“It’s very important and I know it’s heavily used by employers and corporations. It’s steadily rising and LinkedIn is a very useful tool especially for finding internships and future careers,” Denton said.
Beaupre White helps many students create their own LinkedIn account outside of the workshop too.
“Lots of students come to me and don’t have that much information on how to make one, or they have an account started but they need help finishing it,” she said.
Lisa Davis, a senior, created a LinkedIn account with the help of Beaupre White her sophomore year.
“Through my brother, I connected with a recruiter from NBC Universal through LinkedIn and I’ve had two phone interviews with them. So we’ll see what happens,” said Davis.
Davis believes that it is super important to have a LinkedIn account.
“It just shows who you know and how you network, and I’m learning that very quickly,” said Davis.
Junior Bre Morse created her LinkedIn profile over the February break.
“I’m still in the process, and it’s not totally completed. So I plan to go see Renee for some help on finalizing it,” said Morse.
The business department is taking the social media site a bit further. Department chair Peg Richards started a LinkedIn group for business administration alumni to meet up with employers. This gives them an opportunity to make connections and land a job.
“I ask all juniors and seniors to get on LinkedIn, create a profile, and join the group,” said Richards, who believes that everyone should be on it.
Both Richards and Beaupre White explained that once you apply for a job, employer’s start to Google you. If they don’t see your LinkedIn profile come up, they are going to wonder why you don’t have one.
“If I were the employer and saw that a 22-year-old wasn’t on LinkedIn, I would think that’s odd. It’s a different thing if you’re 50 and don’t have one; that’s normal,” said Richards.
When asked about the importance of having a LinkedIn profile, Beaupre White said, “Oh my gosh, it’s vital!”