Your LinkedIn Toolbox: Finding Alumni

By: Sadie

LinkedIn has all sorts of hidden tools that you may not know about. Today I will be talking about the “Find Alumni” feature. You can find this under the “Connections” drop down menu at the top. This provides you with all the information you might want to know about your fellow alums. You can get information on where they work, what they do, and where they live. LinkedIn automatically fills in the years in which you attended school, and shows you classmates who attended your school, or who are currently going to that school. For a broader search, you can adjust the graduation years at the top.

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5 really awesome details about this feature:

When you first click on the “Find Alumni” link it will show you a list of places where your connections/alumni live, where they work, and what they do. If you look below that list there will be a link that says “Show More,” this will list even more potential places people live, where they work, and what they do. BUT WAIT, it gets better. If you click on the arrow located by the section of “What they do” it will show you what your connections/alums studied in school, what skills they have, and how they are connected to you.

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If you’re trying to determine a major the “Find Alumni” feature can be very beneficial. If you’re unsure about what you can do with your major, say for example you’re majoring in Psychology, but maybe you’re thinking about Education as well, you can specifically click on “Psychology” and “Education” and it will list people with those academic backgrounds and you can look into what those people are doing for occupations.

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The “Find Alumni” feature can also help you with searching for a career. For example, if you’re a nurse and you’re interested in working at Essentia Health you can find it under “Where they work” or search it in the search bar, and find who’s currently working there, then you can make connections based off of that. If you don’t see a business or organization that isn’t listed, you can always search for it.

If you click on “Notables” at the top, you can find notable connections/alumni in your area. For example, Don Ness, the mayor of the city of Duluth.

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And lastly, while you’re searching under “Students & Alumni” you can change the university you’re looking at, so that if you’re interested in transferring schools (which I don’t know why you would even do that because UMD is the best school ever) you can find out information about that specific campus.

Of Possible Interest: 

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Finding a Networking Style by Expanding Possibilities

By: Sherrill (Career Counselor/Guest Poster)

Often when people think of networking they picture an evening event with 200 or so students and professionals mingling in business attire while balancing plates of intriguing looking hors d’oeuvres. This is one approach, and there are a variety of options for students to expand their network, learn about interests, and seek out new experiences. We are here to help you prepare for large scale and smaller scale networking opportunities!

Networking Possibilities

Here are just some networking suggestions, and you are encouraged to find ways to network that make you feel comfortable and boost your confidence.

Attend a speaker presentation or information session on campus. Introduce yourself to the people seated around you. Introduce yourself to the speaker afterwards and ask a relevant question.

Get to know your classmates. Fellow students may hear of opportunities that are not a fit for them, and they are more than happy to share the information. Do the same for others when you hear of opportunities.  

Take advantage of professors’ office hours. This is a time to get to know professors outside of the classroom. Professors may be more inclined to write letters of recommendation for you down the road if they know you outside of the classroom.

Build an effective LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn Drop-In hours (every Thursday, 2-4pm, in SCC 22) are available for assistance in developing a LinkedIn presence. Create a positive, consistent social media presence across several platforms.

Complete informational interviews. Students repeatedly report that these are helpful. Informational interviews allow a student to sit down with a professional in a field of interest and learn more about the career path prior to seeking out internships or jobs.

Attend job & internship fairs early. Attending job & internship fairs as a freshman or sophomore has advantages. Employers remember students who express interest in a company multiple times.

Invite a connection or potential connection out for coffee. Learn about their career path and share your career interests. This can be a casual yet still professional way to develop connections.  

Networking is more genuine and productive if it takes place before the individual actually needs something. Words of advice: start early!

Of Possible Interest:

6 Steps to an “In” for Your Next Job Application

By: Glen

This discussion started from a question I heard asked, “Why did someone less qualified land the job I applied for?” This is a tough question that most of us will probably ask at some point in our lives. Before answering, I want to get something out there: It is nearly impossible to land every job that you apply for. To not have an offer extended to you for a job you tried hard to get is not the end of the world. Keep your chin up, and use the opportunity to learn! Since nobody is perfect, it is always important to try and understand what you can do better to land the next job you apply for. There could be many reasons for not landing a job, but out of the many things that people can do to improve, there is only one fact I want to talk about today.

There is a saying that you may have heard at one time or another: It is not what you know, it’s who you know. Often, employees are hired because they have had experience with the employer, or with the people making the hire. In fact, a large portion of people still say networking is how they landed their job.

I raise this point because it may be that a job offer was not extended your way because someone else had an “in.” Having an “in” can put your resume and your interview on the top of the list. Luckily, there are things you can do to try and get that “in.”

  1. If there is a networking event that you think an employer you are interested in working for is attending, go attend that event.
  2. Have a nice conversation with the employer.
  3. Find more employers and have nice conversations with them as well. If you leave the networking event having got to know 3-4 employers, you are doing really well! You never know when an opportunity will open with those employers, even if you are not looking there just yet.
  4. Connect with these employers on LinkedIn. (Not just the companies, but the people you talked to!)
  5. If you end up wishing to apply for a position in one of these companies, contact the people you connected with on LinkedIn and ask about the position.
  6. Bingo, you have your “in.”

There are other things you can do to build your network, like talking to friends of friends, but the instructions above focus on opportunities that are open to quite a number of people, especially college students and recent graduates. Always stay on the lookout, or the opportunities may just pass by you!

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Social Media in the Job Search

Social media. Love it or hate it, it’s here to stay. As a student or young professional, you can harness the power of social media to find opportunities, stay connected with contacts, find new contacts, research organizations, and learn about current events in your industry. How you use social media can create a picture of who you are to perspective employers. Make sure it’s an awesome one!

Digital Stamp: per Erik Qualman (the founder of Socialnomics) your digital stamp is a combination of what you post yourself (digital footprint) and what other people post about you (digital shadow). Here’s the easy equation:

Digital Footprint + Digital Shadow = Digital Stamp

I highly encourage you to check out Erik’s TEDx Talk My Digital Stamp for more information on the topic.

SoMe in Job Search

General Resources

LinkedIn

Twitter – “140 characters of awesome” – Eric Stoller

Pinterest

LinkedIn Pulse

By: Zach

In today’s job world, now more than ever, it is important to be active and relevant online. It is no longer enough just to have a LinkedIn profile with minimal education and experience information about yourself, but it is crucial to have an online presence in order to be noticed and reach personal career goals.

How do you do this, you ask? It’s easy! LinkedIn Pulse.

This is an application that can not only be found at the top of your news feed on LinkedIn, but it can also be downloaded as an application on your phone or tablet. LinkedIn Pulse is an integrated news application that is tailored to your personal preferences. When first setting up your Pulse preferences, you can select from a wide variety of news and industry topics such as: Accounting, Business Travel, Big Ideas 2014, Design, Education, Entrepreneurship, Media, Oil & Energy, Professional Women, Technology, or even Things I Carrey. The point is, the list is endless! Once you have selected your top news and industry sources, updated information on these topics is fed to you on your news feed.

Now I know what you are thinking. How does this help with my online professional presence, and more importantly, what does this have to do with advancing my career? The answer is everything! LinkedIn Pulse can help you stay relevant in your industry, and more importantly, it gives your great conversation topics to share with other connections and groups. On LinkedIn, it is important to share topics and contribute to conversations, not only because it gives you more visibility, but also because it is important to remain “human” while our society continues to move towards online platforms as a means of connectivity.

Here are some quick tips to remember while conversing on LinkedIn!

Think Local

  • It is sometimes difficult to find good articles that may add value to someone’s day, as national news is already front page. Dig for news that is from your local area! These stories tend to get more response from personal connections.

Have Depth

  • It can be easy to hit the share button on anything that seems interesting, but remember to put some thought behind it. By sharing more interesting topics, you will engage more people.

Start Conversations

  • Who else may want to see what you would like to share and why? Directly involve them in the conversation, and ask for their opinion.

Stay Relevant

  • If it is not professionally appropriate, or does not necessarily apply to the professional persona you want to have, maybe save it for facebook. It sounds like it is tough, but many times people can still see through sharing articles and news just for sharing sake.

Overall, LinkedIn Pulse is an amazing resource to use as it can help to create conversation and engage deeper thought through news and industry articles. Take a look around this application and see how you may be able to use it to its full potential! Stop by our office, SCC 22, for more information or help with the application or anything else LinkedIn.

Of Possible Interest:

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Mapping Your Network

By: Andrew

Typically, when I write these posts for our blog I feel like I have a firm understanding of what I am talking about. In saying that, this will be a learning process for you and me, but do not worry because I am a trained pre-professional, especially with LinkedIn. I discovered this tool on LinkedIn a month ago and realized it was not brand new, just not very visible or highly used at the time I found it. The tool I am referring to is LinkedIn’s In Maps. So, without any further waiting, let’s learn all about In Maps.

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What I have found with In Maps is that it is giving the visual learner the perfect way to understand their network. As you can see, with my In Map the map is color-coded and branched out all over the place. The purpose of the color on the map is to show you that the connections in your network have commonalities. These commonalities can be many different things depending on what the most prominent or relevant items for you and them on LinkedIn are. For me, as you can see in the second image, they are labeled as what you see in the bottom right-hand corner of the image. Those labels were solely based off of what I felt my connection to them was at the time I labeled them. As you can see from my In Map, there is a mess of colors everywhere. So, here is how to clean that up.

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If you are thinking that you have too “messy” of a network, there is a fairly easy and productive fix. The solution is to hone in on specific people that will help define your network to what you want it to be. For me, I do not mind having a lot of different labels. However if you want to only have a few labels you need to define what you want your future to look like. The In Map does a nice job of forcing you to figure out how you want to build your network and helping you understand where your network could use bolstering.

You may be saying to yourself, “this map thing looks absolutely pointless”, and do not worry, because I initially said that too! Need not worry; you did not just waste three minutes of your day, because the feature is quite helpful and easy to access. Just follow this link and you will have your Map in a few minutes. Now, I realize that I have basically left you with a bit of discovering to do, but that is the fun part. It is your network, your LinkedIn account, and your future to build and mold. Give this not so new feature a shot and let me know what you think of it in the comment section below.

Other posts about LinkedIn

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Developing Your Online Presence

By: Megan

We all have a presence online. Whether you made an account to comment on an article one time or you are constantly posting on every site you have, you’re visible. Employers know that, so the problem then becomes what they see. Having an active online presence can help or hurt you in so many ways. Here are a couple of tricks for 3 of the sites that tend to trip people up.

Developing Online Presence

Facebook

Privacy settings are always changing, so it’s important to check back in. They occasionally send out emails to let you know: read those. You’re probably already censoring what you put on Facebook for your family, but remember that what your friends post can be seen too. Set it so you have to approve tags, that way pictures that may be interpreted the wrong way don’t get to see the light of day-at least attached to your name. Your privacy settings should enable you to block an employer from seeing what’s here, but remember: this is still public.

Twitter

Twitter is a quick way to connect with people. Say what you want, and be done with it. But in being short and sweet, you have to remember that gets lost quickly. With Twitter, you have to be constantly updating, replying, retweeting, and commenting. Set your accounts on news sites to tweet when you comment (and then make sure you comment what you want seen).

On Twitter, you can get quick updates on anything. This is an awesome place to make your voice heard. You can talk about your causes or what really makes you you. Connect with people in your field, or from your school. This is a great way to get some superficial connections to role models. Once you’ve gotten there, you can find them on another site.

LinkedIn

This is like the professional Facebook. You get to write everything you wanted to about every position you’ve ever held, and people can look through it at their leisure. The groups are a good place to talk to people about topics you’d like to know more about, or just to expand your ideas. Remember, employers can definitely see this. This is a place to put your best foot foreword. If Facebook is a day out with friends, LinkedIn is a suit and tie. We’ve written quite a bit about LinkedIn, go take a look! You can also stop in to our LinkedIn Drop-ins Thursdays from 2-4pm to get some help.

Final tips for being online:

  • Know your audience (and your privacy settings).
  • Be active! Don’t let your account go dormant forever. That’ll undo all your work.
  • Remember: this is print. It doesn’t go away.

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