3 Tips for Getting Started on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the key social networks that employers today use to vet applicants and even seek them out through the platform’s recruiter tools. So, if you did not create one while you were applying to college, now is the time!

Building a comprehensive LinkedIn profile is a vital first step for setting yourself up for max exposure in your early career, and maintaining a presence on the site is just as crucial as you navigate career changes, pivots, launch new ventures, and make other notable moves.

Not everyone has time to use the more advanced features the site offers, but it is fairly easy to:

  • Keep your profile current! Sounds like a given, but when you’re busy with your job search or making career moves, it can be easy to forget. If there are only two things you always keep updated, make sure you have an accurate headline (current role) and location. Bonus points if your headline spices things up a bit. I can’t say mine does, but it would if I was looking for a new role.
  • Customize your public profile URL. Mine is https://www.linkedin.com/in/brittanymaschal. Fancy!
  • Use professional and accurate photos. If you are no longer 18, don’t have a picture of yourself from when you were 18. Now, this is likely not a huge deal if you are 22-26, but if you are 30, you should probably change it—I change mine every few years so when people meet me in person, they are meeting the current me, not the 20-something-year-old me. Also, no cropped shots where the shoulder of your best friend shows in the corner! Invest in a professional headshot, or have a friend take one that looks like a professional headshot. Including a simple but classy background photo or one that goes well with your “brand” is also a nice touch.

Want help setting up your LinkedIn profile as you apply for internships or full-time roles out of college? Contact us today!

 

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Register for GenHERation Discovery Days 2018

12 trips. 10 cities. 500 female executives.

GenHERation Discovery Days 2018 are immersive summer day trips that provide high school and college women with the opportunity to visit more than 50 of the most innovative companies in America. This is the only experience that gives you a behind-the-scenes look at your favorite companies and allows you to share your resume with top companies across the country. GenHERation Discovery Days 2016 was celebrated by former First Lady Michelle Obama and GenHERation Discovery Days 2017 was recognized as the largest career exploration trip in America.

Atlanta: Thursday, June 28, 2018

  • UPS Invitational

Seattle: Monday, July 9-Tuesday, July 10, 2018

  • Amazon, Expedia, Starbucks, Nordstrom, and Zillow

Los Angeles: Wednesday, July 11-Thursday, July 12, 2018

  • Coolhaus, Mattel, The Honest Company, BuzzFeed, and EY

San Francisco: Monday, July 16Tuesday, July 17, and Wednesday, July 18, 2018

  • San Francisco Giants, Lucasfilm, Airbnb, EY, Twitter, Gap, Zynga, GE Ventures, Uber, PayPal, and Google

Dallas: Tuesday, July 24, 2018

  • Southwest Airlines, Pizza Hut, JCPenney, and EY

Austin: Thursday, July 26, 2018

  • NFP, IBM, Google, and Indeed

Charlotte: Tuesday, July 31, 2018

  • Atrium Health, Charlotte Hornets, Red Ventures, EY, and the Belk Foundation

Boston: Thursday, August 2, 2018

  • Duane Morris, Fidelity, Boston Red Sox, and the New England Patriots

New York City: Tuesday, August 7, 2018

  • J.P. Morgan, Viacom, Barneys, and EY

Philadelphia: Thursday, August 9, 2018

  • QVC, Dow Chemical, Hartford Funds, and the Wharton Baker Retailing Center

Read more about GenHERation and their awesome programming, here!

 

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Is the Cover Letter Dead?

 

Repost from Grammarly:

The cover letter was once a valuable tool for all job seekers hoping to get by the HR gatekeeper. However, the rise of innovative tech, social media, millennials, and good old-fashioned networking is killing the cover letter.

The only thing missing from the decline of the cover letter is a time of death. In fact, chances are your cover letter won’t even be read, according to Fortune. Nearly 90 percent of hiring managers admit to never reading cover letters.

Interestingly, most job posts require a cover letter despite the unlikeliness of it getting more than a quick glance. Studies have found, however, that cover letters still get read if submitted with a resume.

The cover letter is as out of fashion as Hammer pants and Beanie Babies. Unless a cover letter is explicitly required, it is a waste of time and effort. Here’s why.

Your Social Media Accounts Are the New Cover Letter

It may not come as a surprise, but your social media presence is very accessible. Recruiters know this, and they will check out your profiles and activity. Social media is, in effect, the new cover letter, and at times the new resume.

This can be an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on your digital footprint. When recruiters want to know something about potential candidates, they simply Google them or check their Twitter accounts. Your Facebook photos are far more compelling and revealing about who you are compared to a thoughtfully scripted cover letter.

Old-Fashioned Networking Is Another Cover Letter Killer

Your cover letter may include all the traditional pleasantries, but there is always a more effective way to put your best foot forward. Networking is often far more effective than a cover letter.

In fact, 70 to 80 percent of jobs are never posted online, Matt Youngquist, president of Career Horizons, told NPR. This makes the cover letter a time-consuming effort with little return. Networking is possibly the best and fastest way to land the job you want.

Freelancers Have Saturated the Job Market

Companies large and small, including fresh startups, have all gone the route of the freelancer. Often, a cover letter is not part of the equation when hiring for contract positions.

An estimated 34 percent of the American workforce is composed of freelancers, according to a study conducted by the Freelancers Union. And this is expected to rise to 50 percent by 2020.

The wide range and availability of freelancers has made the cover letter irrelevant. Why bring in new employees on a salary when a freelancer will do the work on a project basis? Freelancers are often more economical for companies as well.

Professional Online Platforms = Recruiter’s Dream

If a recruiter needs to fill a position fast, why take the time reading endless cover letters? All the information they need is on a potential candidate’s professional online profile such as LinkedIn. In fact, nearly 93 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to fill their company’s talent pool.

Professional online platforms like LinkedIn are not only killing the cover letter, but they are also putting the resume to rest as well. Many companies even permit potential candidates to apply for a job with their LinkedIn profile.

Don’t toss your cover letter just yet. There is still a place for it in your job hunt as it takes its last fleeting breaths of life. Though the cover letter is nearly dead, it is still required for the many jobs still posted online. However, focusing on your professional digital footprint more than your cover letter may prove to be time better spent.

Source

Doubts About Career Readiness From College Seniors

According to the results of a survey by McGraw-Hill Education, only 40 percent of college seniors say their experience in college has been very helpful in preparing them for a career. Not a great percentage if you ask me!

The third annual version of McGraw-Hill’s workforce readiness survey found a rise in the perceived importance of preparing for careers in college. While students report that they are increasingly satisfied with their overall college experience (79 percent in 2016 compared to 65 percent in 2014), an increasing percentage said they would have preferred their schools to provide:

  • More internships and professional experiences (67 percent in 2016 compared to 59 percent in 2014)
  • More time to focus on career preparation (59 percent compared to 47 percent)
  • Better access to career preparation tools (47 percent compared to 38 percent)
  • More alumni networking opportunities (34 percent compared to 22 percent)

From my experience, there are colleges that do a fantastic job regarding career services, those that do a poor job, and most fall somewhere in between. What I think many college students do not realize is that the services offered by college career centers/offices are not going to jump out and find them—they need to seek them out—and in most cases, they will need to supplement what’s offered on campus. Having a career or post-grad plan in place early on in one’s college career is helpful, and a way students can spend more time focusing on career preparation. Early career planning is one of our new focus areas, as students and their families have voiced their concerns and mirrored some of what the McGraw survey cited here points out.