Want to scare a college student? Just ask them: “What are you going to do after you graduate?” Nothing will get their palms sweating quicker; their eyes will enlarge to the size of satellites as they begin an internal monologue “oh god, what am I going to do after college, I have the degree but now what?” Exactly. Now what? When you’ve just recently graduated from college, finding a job in your professional field can be impossible. According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), businesses planned to hire only 2.1 percent more college graduates from the class of 2013 than they did from the class of 2012. The future of college grads is looking bleaker than ever; however, there is no need to throw in the proverbial towel. There is hope for us all yet. As current college students it is time for us to build up our resumes and differentiate ourselves as much as we possibly can from other job candidates. We have increasingly become a social media and technology reliant society; the job application process has now become heavily focused on separating oneself from other applicants through the use of technology as well. With the use of the social networking site for people in professional occupations known as LinkedIn recent college grads have the opportunity to include all of the factoids about themselves that make them who they are in and outside of the workplace.
On Wednesday, Jackie Vetrano, the Web and Social Media Coordinator here at GCC, and John McGowan, career services coordinator at GCC, spoke to the Professional Sales class about how to make the LinkedIn profile the best reflection of yourself and use it as a tool to gain job offers in professional fields. Jackie and John told the class that the LinkedIn profile should be looked at as a supplement to your existent resume. Any photos posted on the LinkedIn profile page should be professional, especially the profile image that is used, as it serves as the first impression for potential employers and other people who browse through your profile. Other important points that Jackie and John went over include: editing the web link to your LinkedIn profile and making it simpler and easy to search for, using a professional email address (this means no firstname.lastname@example.org email addresses, time to put them to bed), a personal statement that sells your skillset in an appealing way. Honors and awards received should not be overlooked as well; they provide employers with context of your provided skills and encourage follow-up inquiry if a job position is on the table. During the LinkedIn instruction, Jackie Vetrano told the students “ nothing is too trivial, you have infinite space, take advantage of it!” This is the beauty of LinkedIn, it’s a website filled with professionals, this is your chance to show-off; this type of opportunity should be taken seriously.
With the use of LinkedIn, and people like Jackie Vetrano and John McGowan who are grooming college students to make themselves standout on these social media platforms, GCC graduates will have a much easier time finding careers in the professional fields of their choosing. So it’s time for everyone to get LinkedIn and link up!