Think how you spent your summer isn’t important? think again!

Make an appointment!
Check out some great advice from Michele Doran, Associate Director, Knowlton Center for Career Exploration!

While having an internship at a Fortune 500 company or conducting summer research certainly stands out on a resume, not every student, for various reasons will participate in that type of opportunity. So what DID you do this summer?  I am always surprised at how sheepishly students bring up the fact that they didn’t have an internship over the summer. In most cases students had a “summer job” and unfortunately, many seem embarrassed by that.

Summer internships and research can be very valuable with regards to career preparation, however, students should not discount the importance of other types of summer experiences. The important thing is to reflect deeply on how you grew over the summer.

Travel?

If you traveled, did you learn to problem solve, get more comfortable with other cultures, step outside of your comfort zone? Perhaps this is the only time due to academics that you had the time to travel, no need to apologize for that. Traveling and experiencing new places can be very influential to your overall personal growth.

Employment?

Maybe you had a less-than-glamorous summer job. What did skills did you develop?  Did you develop a work ethic, work with a diverse team, gain an understanding of the importance of deadlines and maybe get exposure to a career field that you never thought of? Spent your summer as a nanny or babysitter? Consider time management skills developed getting multiple children to different activities at different locations, conflict resolution (when dealing with sibling squabbles) and negotiating skills (no one drives a harder bargain than a truculent teenager).

Time to update that resume!

When you are updating your resume at the end of summer make sure to take the time to reflect on your experience. Ask yourself what instances made you stretch yourself, what seemed most important to you and how might these learning experiences be transferable to other fields? It isn’t too late to start a journal to take notes. When adding to your resume remember to focus on your accomplishments and not necessarily each individual task for which you were responsible.

Of course, the staff from The Austin E. Knowlton Center for Career Exploration is ready to help you wade through these questions, regardless of what how you spent your summer—we can’t wait to see you soon!

What Does the Fox Say: Why so many Icebreakers??

What does the fox say?-2

Dear DocFox –

I’ve been here for less than 2 weeks and I feel like I’m spending half my time answering the same 4 questions:
What is my name, what is my hometown, what is my major, and my least favorite: what is something interesting about me. What gives??
Sincerely,

M. from Chicago

First-Year, Undecided Major (maybe Anthropology/Sociology)
(Oh, and in case you are wondering, I am an aspiring entrepreneur and started a dog walking business this summer.)

Dear M:

Thanks for writing!  Yes, the beginning of the year is filled with introductions and icebreakers – in your residence halls, in student organizations, probably even a few classes. Icebreakers are not only a way to get to know others in an often fun and occasionally engaging way, but they are also team builders and a way to hone your networking skills. Why is that important, you may ask?  In both college and the “real world” you will be asked to work in teams and/or contribute in many ways. It’s much easier to work in teams when you have already established a good rapport.  And, it’s even easier when you know each other well enough to effectively leverage one another’s talents, strengths, and interests!
As for networking, it may seem unimportant, especially as a first-year student, but it is useful! Don’t think of it as needing to work a crowd or boast about yourself; use it to build relationships one at a time and teach others who you are and what opportunities you might want to explore. It’s also a great way to help others make connections to accomplish their goals. So, build your networks over the next 4 years…talk with classmates, faculty, staff, your roommate’s parents, etc. The questions may seem mundane, but it’s a great way to strike up a conversation and make early connections – especially with your classmates.  Did you know Starbucks, Hewlett and Packard, and Facebook were all started by college friends? Thank goodness for ice breakers!
Pro Tip: When you do introduce yourself, make sure you say your first and last name.  Perhaps I want to offer you a gig walking my adorable dog … I don’t know how to get in touch with you since I don’t know your last name!
Sincerely,

DocFox

Linkedin Extra Credit: LinkedIn Jobs

Looking to learn more about a company you admire? Have some connections at a company, but you’re not sure what they do? Maybe you’ll soon enter the job search and want to get a feel for the type of positions available. LinkedIn Jobs is a great place to start!

As an example, I’ll use Nationwide Insurance, headquartered in neighboring Columbus, and an employer of plenty of Denison alumni! It’s very easy

  1. Go to LinkedIn Jobs.
  2. Search a company, keyword, or position.
  3. Explore!

LinkedIn Jobs allows users to explore the positions and companies in which they’re interested and see how they’re connected. You can see below that I have three connections who currently work at Nationwide, and they’ve hired 21 individuals from Denison. If I were interested in the position, I’d have Denison in common with 21 employees. Having Denison in common gives me a great place to start a conversation!

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You can also learn more about other select employees, including past employers, their university, and their skills, all at a glance:

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Lastly, you can follow the company, get to know their values, see other available positions at the company, and explore similar positions outside the company:

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LinkedIn Jobs allows individuals to apply directly from the page or save a job for later. It’s a great way to research companies as you begin the job search, so get out there and explore!

Have you used LinkedIn Jobs? Let us know your experience!

Level up: All-star LinkedIn features for Students

How to set up a student linked profile

You’ve perfected your profile and connected with some great professionals, what else can you do? Read on to learn about three LinkedIn features that can bring your profile to the next level!

Recommendations

Many LinkedIn users know that skill endorsements are a good way to show off your abilities, and demonstrate that others agree you have those abilities, too. But, have you ever used the recommendation feature?

Below you can see an example of LinkedIn recommendations. They appear with the job description corresponding with the recommendation:

recommendation, linkedin

Who can leave a recommendation?

Coworkers, supervisors, clients, professors, partners at another company—anyone who can talk about your work ethic or specific skills.

Why would I want a recommendation?

Think of a LinkedIn recommendation as a digital reference—someone was impressed enough with your work that they wanted to share it with your professional world.

How do I get a recommendation?

Someone who is really impressed and familiar with LinkedIn’s features may leave you one without asking. However, the best way to get anything, is to ask! Go to the bottom of your profile and click, “Ask to be Recommended,” it will walk you through the steps after that. As always, be sure to send a personal message

What should I do after I get a recommendation?

Thank your recommender! Send them an email or thank you card, and importantly—return the favor.

Adding Content

Do you blog, or have digital content somewhere? Have you given a great presentation, or taken stellar photos or videos that demonstrate your abilities? Think of LinkedIn as a place for you to display your portfolio. It’s easy to do:

  1. Scroll to the section in your employment or education history where you’d like to post your content.
  2. At the bottom you’ll see the options below.
  3. Click on the box for the item that corresponds with the content you’d like to upload.

Screen shot 2016-01-22 at 10.10.37 am

Adding content makes your profile more interesting, and shows, rather than tells, what you did in the corresponding position.

Publishing

Interested in sharing some of your knowledge with the greater LinkedIn community? Do you have a professional or personal experience that’s worth sharing? Our bet is, you do.

LinkedIn is looking to get more young voices in their blogging platform and there’s good reasons to participate: your profile view rates could rise, someone could reach out to you about your post, and some students were offered jobs or speaking opportunities! As LinkedIn says, “turn your knowledge and experiences into opportunity” Check out their student resources here, and be sure to tag your post with #studentvoices!

To publish your content, simply click “Publish a post” on the top of your home page!

Interested in publishing? Make an appointment to brainstorm with a career advisor, chat with your friends, or an academic advisor.

Some quick tips:

  1. Keep it short, and engaging.
  2. Use graphics, but only with proper attribution.
  3. Answer comments on your post
  4. If you re-post from another blog, be sure to attribute the original source to avoid issues of duplicate content.

There you have it–an all-star LinkedIn profile in a few simple steps. Check out our LinkedIn 101 and LinkedIn 201 posts for more information if you missed them!

LinkedIn 201: How do I connect with people I don’t know?

How to set up a student linked profile

Find Alumni Feature

How do you begin a conversation with someone you don’t know? Start with what you have in common. Denisonians are a great bunch of individuals doing a variety of things around the world, and we love meeting one another. Thankfully, LinkedIn is here to help facilitate some of those meetings.

Find Denison alumni (or alumni of any college) by going here. You can get there by hovering over “My Network” at the top of LinkedIn, and clicking “Find Alumni.” This is a great resource that allows users to sort by location, occupation, company, college major, and more.

So, you found someone with whom you’d like to connect… 

Hold up, don’t hit that send button yet! If you’re a second-degree connection or in the same Network (Denison), LinkedIn will allow you to send a generic invitation that says, “I’d like to add you to my Professional Network on LinkedIn.”

Instead, personalize your invitation as to why you would like to connect with that person. Do you share an interest? Have they published something you admire? Let them know, and sign your name.

Disclaimer: don’t send invitations from the LinkedIn app unless it is someone you know well—you’re not able to personalize your message.

Ask for an Introduction

Still not sure you want to send a cold-invite to a stranger? For individuals with whom you share a connection, you can ask for an introduction.

While this feature seems to be changing every time LinkedIn does an update, there are a few ways to go about asking for an introduction.

  1. Go to the profile of the person with whom you’d like to connect.
  2. Hover over one of your shared connections and click “Ask [connection] about [desired connection]”

Alternatively, send your mutual connection an email or InMail explaining why you’d like to be introduced. It’s as simple as that!

I’ve Initiated Contact, Now What?

Don’t let that connection just sit there, do something with it!

Informational interviews

If your new connection is local, ask them if they’d be interested in grabbing coffee and talking about their job and their career path. If they’re not local—ask if you can schedule a phone call.

Externship/Job Shadow

If you’re able over break, or on a day you don’t have classes—ask connections in your desired field if you can shadow them, or someone else at their company for a day, or afternoon. You may realize the job wasn’t exactly what you thought, or that it’s even better!

ALWAYS, send a thank-you note.

Whether you grab coffee, talk on the phone, shadow, or even land an internship or job interview after your initial contact with a new connection, be sure to send a note of thanks. They’ll appreciate the gesture, and remember you as thoughtful and thorough.

A quick reminder: never send someone you don’t know well an email asking for a job or internship. Your goal is to create a relationship, not solicit them for an opportunity.

LinkedIn 101

LinkedIn Student Profile

What is Linkedin?

LinkedIn™ is your living, digital resume and “The world’s largest professional network,” boasting 300 million members worldwide. The purpose of the site is to foster professional connections—you can find people, jobs, ideas, and news to improve your professional life.

Profile Basics: What do I need?

Here’s what LinkedIn™ Suggests College Students include on their LinkedIn Profile:

◻ The Photo: a professional headshot; just you, no cropping others out, no drink in your hand.

◻ The Headline: Your interests, the job or internship you’re seeking, your passion (in 120 characters or less).

◻ Summary: Tell the world what you do well, what you’re passionate about, and your future direction.

◻ Experience: This is the resume part; list your job experience ranging from part-time, to internship, to summer and full-time work. Describe your responsibilities and accomplishments using action words as you would on a resume.

◻ Organizations: List your membership or involvement with student organizations, honor societies, Greek life, and professional associations.

◻ Education: Beginning with college, list your educational experiences, including any summer and off-campus experiences. Be sure to include your major or program and date ranges.

◻ Volunteer Experience & Causes: Have you participated in service on campus through the Denison Community Association or your Greek chapter? How about during the summer? Let the world know the causes you care about.

◻ Skills & Expertise: List the things you do well, both soft and hard/technical skills. Be sure to include any specialized software applicable to your field (ex: SPSS, STATA, JMP).

◻ Honors & Awards: University-wide, departmental, national, your merit scholarship, anything; here’s the place to brag.

◻ Courses: List some courses that demonstrate your interests and skills that are applicable to what you want to do in the future.

◻ Projects: talk about projects you did for class, a student group, internship, or for fun—describe the project and process.

But, do I really need a LinkedIn™?

LinkedIn™ is a great way to keep track of the things you do related to life after college. The longer you have a profile, and the more you build it out, the easier it will be for individuals to find you, and hire you. LinkedIn™ reports that individuals with a complete profile are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn!  Even if you’re not looking for a job or internship yet, make a profile to connect with classmates and professionals you meet. Future you will thank you!

Check out LinkedIn’s Student page for more information, or stop by the Center for Career Exploration.

Stay tuned for posts on how to best utilize LinkedIn™ and information on advanced features!

Quick Advising: Monday-Friday 2:00 – 4:40 (no appointment needed!)

Burton Morgan 205