Click! Create! Connect!
On Wednesday, Oct. 1, a LinkedIn workshop was held in the Charles F. Dolan School of Business to stress the importance of professional social networking amongst college students. The workshop was run by Stephanie Gallo, associate director of the career planning center, and Tara Berwick, director of internships for the Dolan School of Business.
“The sooner you get comfortable with networking the better,” said Berwick. “Thinking about your career and future is scary, but if college students start making their profiles now it will be less overwhelming later.”
There are 260 million members on the LinkedIn website, 60 million of which are college students, making it the largest social network on the Internet. On LinkedIn there are also three millions companies represented, such as Nike, Google and the Boston Red Sox.
LinkedIn is a website about powering your career by providing the best image of yourself for others to connect and find you. The workshop taught attendees how to sign up for a profile and how to use its various features. LinkedIn is very user-friendly and lets its members know which parts of their profile still needs to be completed. The facilitators of the on-campus workshop broke down the process of using LinkedIn into simple steps. They elaborated on the do’s and don’ts of your profile picture and what are appropriate ways to make connections.
“A resume is very static, but LinkedIn is very dynamic, which helps with defining your professional online presence,” said Gallo.
On Facebook people have “friends,” but on Linked people have “connections,” which is the most important part of the website. There are two types of connections you can make, first connections and second connections. First connections are people who you connect with directly, and second connections are made via the first direction connection you made, thus indirectly. As an active member on LinkedIn, one must endorse or write recommendations for their connections so that they can receive connections and opportunities in return. “The question isn’t only what you can do for me, but what can I do for you so that you can help me in return,” said Berwick.
After the workshop, students were optimistic about starting their LinkedIn profiles. “I knew about the website but I didn’t know what it really was all about. Now I feel ready enough to take the initiative to start my LinkedIn profile,” said Kaila Nelson ‘17.
Students not only commented on how excited they were about starting their LinkedIn profile, but also about how much they learned through attending the workshop. “The best thing I learned was how to connect with the alumni from Fairfield. It’s so easy to connect with them and I think that type of connection will be really helpful when finding a job,” Autumn Young ‘17.