LinkedIn For Life

Jeff Mass Educates Students About the Benefits of the Social Media Site

news-linkedinWhen students graduate college, one possible concern on their minds is finding a job. This past Wednes­day, a seminar about LinkedIn was given to educate students of the ben­efits the service can provide.

Jeff Mass, Career Counselor/Job Developer for Career Services at the Center for Student Success and a 2004 alumni, held the event. He said that the service provides more than some normally notice.

“When someone tells me that they have a LinkedIn profile, the first thing I ask them is, how do you uti­lize it?” said Mass.

The primary benefit of the service is networking with business profes­sionals and its ability to provide face-to-face contact with great response time.

Also, according to Mass’ Power­Point presentation of LinkedIn, he says that the service is a tool that can assist you in remaining connected and growing your network: profes­sional networking, subject experts/ mentors, business opportunities, job search, discussions/blogs/groups, built upon trusted professional rela­tionships and connections.

“You have to build your own brand awareness,” said Mass.

The first steps in creating a Linke­dIn profile is posting your resume, creating a profile and posting your goal.

Mass calls creating a profile your “online identity/personal branding.” When creating your virtual resume include a summary, your past three employers for experience, education and selective additional information.

Finding someone in your area and reaching out is the best thing to do with LinkedIn and Mass says that the circle of trust that you create is the icebreaker. There are many op­portunities with the service includ­ing connections with alumni, employees and finding internships.

Building trusting relationships is important on LinkedIn as well as asking for advice from mentors.

Some things to be considered when creating and maintaining a profile on the site are not to say “actively seeking.” The reasoning behind not branding yourself that way is because future employers take that as a sign that you are not focused on landing a particular job says Mass.

An important thing one must al­ways remember with the service is that you must be your own boss. Also, make sure you are always pro­fessional and updating your infor­mation while keeping in mind that you can always limit the information that you chose to include in your pro­file.

To stay connected, another great thing is to take advantage of Univer­sity resources on the site.

“Tap into your alumni. Monmouth alumni are a great resources,” said Mass. “Use the endorsement feature, it’s a great networking tool.”

Endorsements, according to Mass’ PowerPoint presentation are listed as recommendations in your profile and can be offered or request­ed. W hen choosing who to include endorsements from on your profile consider the following: former man­agers and supervisors, colleagues and co-workers, clients and custom­ers and business partners.

Taking advantage of some of LinkedIn’s new features can also reinforce your argument for a new job you may seek. Some of these features include, box, huddle, Ama­zon, TripIt, SixApart, Google Docs, SlideShare, WordPress and Com­pany Buzz.

As we may hear of celebrities and other people “Googling themselves,” Mass acknowledges that it is a great idea. This actually is a step that will help you filter what you find to make sure your network builds over time and you can effectively manage your relationships.

LinkedIn started out in the living room of co-founder Reid Hoffman in 2002 and as of June 30, profes­sionals are signing up to join Linke­dIn at a rate of approximately two new members per second, accord­ing to t he LinkedIn website. As of August 2, LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 175 million members in over 200 coun­tries and territories.

Mass is located in the Center for Student Success in the Student Center, so visit him if you need any help creating your LinkedIn profile and get connected.