Are you LinkedIn?

Social media is all the rave now a days, isn’t it? It is safe to say that most college students are involved in at least one form of social media, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, watching YouTube videos, or writing a blog. While all of these tools may be key for communication with friends and those with similar interests to ours, what are these profiles actually doing for our careers? With a LinkedIn account, the benefits for your future are very clear.

What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is your own, individualized (by you!) online resume. The main focus of a LinkedIn profile is to highlight your work experience and to sell yourself to others (possibly employers!) who are also using it. Through LinkedIn, you can connect with other individuals in your field. For example, say you are a COB (College of Business) student at JMU and you wanted to network with a JMU alumni that currently works at your dream company; through LinkedIn you can connect with one another, and at the same time, share your resume with that alumni (who can then share it with anyone in his network). You can also join groups that suit your interests- there are JMU groups, on and off-campus organization groups and most importantly, professional association groups.

HerCampus.com recently reported about 7 tips for getting the most out of your LinkedIn account. Some no-brainers include keeping information up-to-date and making sure you have a professional profile photo (not one with you at a bar with your friends); a nice head shot shows that you are professional and approachable. Make sure that your profile is tailored to the person and employee that you are; remember, it is a dog-eat-dog world, and to get ahead you have to stand out from the competition. LinkedIn will not only help you stand out by looking professional and prepared, it will also give you a leg up on the competition by networking and creating a 100% complete profile. Imagine, if you put just a quarter of the effort in to LinkedIn that you put in to Facebook and Twitter, you can easily get on the path to a brighter future and leave a more memorable digital trail.

Are you a JMU student and need a head shot for your LinkedIn profile? Make sure you come out to the Fall Career and Internship Fair on Monday, October 1, 2012 from 12-4 PM in the Festival Ballroom to take one at our Photobooth! There will also be more information about LinkedIn at the Photobooth!

By: Melissa Peale
Contact: pealeml@dukes.jmu.edu

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