Wednesday, October 19, 2016

LinkedIn Students: A Student Perspective

You may have seen this slide floating around in your colleges, and if you didn't already know, RIT started collaborating with LinkedIn for the LinkedIn Students app. It gives students an easy guide for their career exploration.

Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Sundy and I work as the Student Social Media Manager for RIT Career Services and Cooperative Education. I am a third year New Media Marketing major here at RIT. I have been using the LinkedIn Students app for about a month now, and here are my thoughts.

When I started using LinkedIn Students, I didn't really expect much out of it. I have had a LinkedIn profile set up for a while now and I know of all the different features it has to offer, such as LinkedIn Jobs, career articles, and most important, the networking. Yet, even though I knew they were there, I never really used them. I didn't go on LinkedIn as often as I should, and most of the time my profile was just sitting there. I was never really sure how to truly optimize my profile to assist me in my professional career.

I know for a fact that I'm not the only one who felt this way. It's easy to set up a LinkedIn profile, but the difficult part is actually using it. Every individual is unique. We each have our unique majors, talents, and dream careers, so how we approach our career journeys should be unique to each of us.

So how do we accommodate for that?

Now we have LinkedIn Students.

They know that we're all different. That's why each day you get personalized cards that they think you will find helpful. Not only do they suggest possible career paths you might want to explore, but they also offer the right people to connect with. The more you save in "My Stuff," the more accurate each day's cards will be in aligning with what you may be looking for in your career journey.
You get five cards a day, each completely different from yesterday's cards.

The first is the Roles Card, which shows you detailed information about roles held by an alum with the same major. For example, I may consider becoming a Public Relations Specialist. General information and a brief description can be seen on the card. If you click on it, you can see the full description of what the role entails.
Included in this description are:

- Median salary,
- What they do,
- Alumni who have this role,
- Top companies for this role,
- Top Skills for this role, and
- Similar roles to check out.

These role suggestions are usually jobs held by recent RIT graduates who have similar backgrounds. If you're interested in the role, you can tap the star at the bottom to save it to "My Stuff."

My favorite card are the Articles Cards. It might sound boring and it may seem like the least relevant feature in finding a job after graduation, but the articles they suggest give you helpful advice to optimize your job search experience as well as push you to your fullest potential in your career. I've come across articles about being a leader (pictured), acing your interview, and motivating you through your job search process. My favorites so far have been "How to Stop Screening Yourself Out," "Resumes That I Can't Forget," and "3 Tips for Using Social Media to Jumpstart your Job Search."

These articles are not only written by career professionals, but also by students just like you and me.
Finding a job post-graduation is hard. These articles help you feel more informed and prepared for what is to come.
This is where it starts to become more specific. Company Cards, as the name would suggest, recommend companies who hire from RIT. Many of them you may recognize from the Career Fair and Job Zone, and are employing RIT alumni who graduated with your degree. As you continue to add companies you like to "My Stuff," these cards will become closer and closer to the kind of companies you will want to work for.

On the card, they list the name of the company, their industry (for example, Johnson & Johnson is in Hospital & Health Care), and the size of the company.

If you click on the card, you can view more company information, current alumni who work there, roles that match your profile description, and similar companies.

There are thousands of companies that are hiring across the country, and having to sift through them is difficult. This helps you easily narrow it down to match what you want to do.

LinkedIn is the best platform to get you connected to the people that will help you along your career journey, so this card is useful for anyone, anywhere on their career journey.

On LinkedIn Students, you get suggested new alumni you can reach out to in the Alumni Cards. You can view their profiles and learn more about what they do, use it as inspiration for your own profile, and of course, connect. Even if you are not looking for a job or co-op any time soon, networking early will help in the future when you are looking.

The recommendations are mostly based off of the roles that you have saved in "My Stuff." One of the first roles I saved was Online Marketing Manager. Baird Wilber (pictured) is a 2015 grad who currently works as a Digital Marketing Coordinator, which is perfect. I can connect with him and talk to him about what the role is like and understand whether or not it seems like the work I want to do.

Now, if you are looking for a full time position, the Jobs Cards offer specific job openings that you can apply to on LinkedIn Jobs. These are, again, companies that hire from RIT, and based on your major, your background, and your skills.

On the card they show the job title, company, and location. If you're interested, you can click on the card for more information about the company and the job, as well as apply. If the company is not quite the right fit, you can also see more jobs with this title. Tap on the star to save in "My Stuff" and view it later.

I have come across postings from very unique companies that I have never heard of before. When looking for job postings online, it gets overwhelming with the long extensive list of companies hiring for all these different positions. Viewing them individually, one per day, is a lot easier to process and filter through.

There is always more ways you can improve the career search. Extra Credit Cards offer suggestions on improving your profile, preparing resumes, and even helping a friend out.

Each day they give you five cards, but if you don't want to wait a whole 24 hours before getting new ones, you can always see more ideas immediately after flipping through the first five.

"My Stuff" is fairly straight forward, listing all of the content you have saved in the past all in one place.

The LinkedIn Students app has been really helpful is making the career exploration process less stressful. It makes it easier to digest the abundance of information that is available, and makes it less of a hassle to find what I'm looking for. If you were to do your job search outside of this app, it's relatively similar in that after searching through the large flux of information, you will find the positions that are right for you. At first, it may not be exactly what you had in mind, but eventually you will find the information you need and want. As you keep finding all these roles, companies, and jobs, you will be able to narrow it down. This just makes the process quicker and more efficient. It is a new app, and LinkedIn is continuously working to improve it and make it better.

(Please note this app is meant only for current students. If you are not a current student, it will adversely affect your profile.)

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