Professional Networking Made Easier With LinkedIn

Career Development Center Offers Help With LinkedIn, Resumes and More

By BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Intern

There’s an old saying that goes, “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.” That statements rings true for a lot of people, but especially college students.

The importance of building connections and networking is vital for the success of young professionals. It can provide an inside route to hard-to-get positions, provide great mentorship opportunities and be a source for professional resources.

A great way for students to start building their professional network started is getting a LinkedIn account.

“LinkedIn is a powerful way to professionally network with recruiters and employers,” Karina Clennon, Assistant Director for the Career Development Center at Minnesota State, Mankato said. “Students can apply for positions, stay connected with faculty after graduation and find where alum are working.”

But just having a LinkedIn isn’t enough. Clennon says it’s important to find ways to make it stand out to separate yourself from other students and job-seekers. She offered a few tips to students looking to better their profiles.

“Include key words for positions you are applying to in your headline. Be sure to ask faculty and supervisors to write you a recommendation on LinkedIn, include all of your skills and keep your profile up to date,” she said.

‘Include key words for positions you are applying to in your headline. Be sure to ask faculty and supervisors to write you a recommendation on LinkedIn, include all of your skills and keep your profile up to date.’ – Karina Clennon

In addition, Clennon said students need to make sure they have a professional picture displayed, not a selfie or cropped picture. She also recommended that students should include all information they would have on a resume as well as other professional experiences that may not fit on a resume.

Clennon also stressed the importance of using multiple resources and not being entirely reliant on LinkedIn during the job search.

“LinkedIn is a tool. It’s really important to leverage all of your resources when you are on the job search. Make sure you’re talking to your advisors and mentors for more information about careers,” she said. “Keep up to date with your online presence, too, because employers do take that into consideration when making hiring decisions.”

The CDC works closely with the Colleges of Allied Health and Nursing; Business; and Science, Engineering and Technology by providing programs and activities to students within those colleges. Students not in those colleges can visit the Career Development Center any time during the school day to get help creating a LinkedIn profile, feedback on resumes and cover letters and to seek career advice.

Clennon is a graduate of MSU with a Doctorate of Education in Education and Supervision as well as a Master of Science in Counseling and Student Personnel: College Student Affairs. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato.

The Career Development Center is located on the second level of Wigley Administration building and is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information about the CDC or to schedule an appointment, visit www.mnsu.edu/cdc.

 

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