It is my pleasure and privilege to welcome you on behalf of LinkedIn. I am your presenter Lindsey Pollak coming to you live from New York City. My colleague at LinkedIn is here on the line as our moderator. Welcome! We are thrilled that you have joined us. Welcome and thank you for spending this next hour with us!
I ’d like to begin with one of my favorite stories about the power of LinkedIn. It comes from a small community college where a student walked in to the career center one day and told the career counselor that he wanted to be an ophthalmologist. The community college had no classes related to this, but the student was so passionate and eager, she really wanted to encourage his career plans, knowing it would be a long road ahead. So she went into LinkedIn and typed in to the search box the name of the community college and the word “ophthalmologist.” Up popped one single name of a man who had graduated from the college and gone on to that career. The counselor helped the student write an introductory email and the alum responded right away. He was thrilled to help this student and became on ongoing mentor. That is just one story of many I ’m excited to share with you today about how LinkedIn can help you and your students in valuable, meaningful ways.
Our goal in this one-hour webinar is to twofold: 1) to help you do your job better as a career services professional and 2) to help your students and alumni help themselves to find jobs and advance in their careers more effectively. I will share several live demos so you can see LinkedIn in action and also share many examples from career centers around the world.
If you miss anything or want to review any of the content, this webinar will be archived so you can listen and watch again if you ’d like and we will be offering this webinar live every month if you’d like to attend again or recommend to your colleagues. [CLICK] Here is where the video is archived, where you can download the slides and where you can find other resources for your career center, such as downloadable worksheets. [CLICK] Here is a close-up so you can see it better. Bookmark us at Careerservices.linkedin.com.
Of course, the advantage to listening to this webinar LIVE is that you can ask your questions. Simply type your question in the “Q&A” area on your screen and they will be answered on your screen during the webinar and our moderator will feed me some questions at the end. If you have any technical problems during the webinar you can type those in as well.
I ’d like to introduce myself so you know whose voice you are listening to. The best way to get to know me is, of course, through my LinkedIn profile and I invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn. To give a brief intro, I am career expert and the author of the book “Getting from College to Career.” I am also a Spokesperson for LinkedIn. CLICK: That small headshot is what I look like with a little bit of airbrushing. This is what I look like right now – with my webinar presenter headset and my huge glass of water. [CLICK] And, yes, in the background that is an old-fashioned Rolodex. Just a little proof for those of you who like your old school tools that online tools like LinkedIn can happily co-exist with your favorite offline tools!
We are going to begin with a brief overview of LinkedIn and how it fits into the social media landscape.
Here is a diagram of how LinkedIn works. You start by connecting on LinkedIn with people you already know or meet in “the real world,” then the site provides you with tools to connect, degree by degree, with the connections of your connections for mutual benefit. This is similar to the way other social networks such as Facebook are set up. However, LinkedIn is different because LinkedIn exists for professional networking ONLY. There are no party photos, there is no poking or winking. LinkedIn is 100% about connecting in a professional way. If you do want the ability to connect with people without a direct connection, you can upgrade to a paid LinkedIn Business account, which offers the benefit of being able to send emails to a certain number of people without a direct connection. How far and wide can your network expand? Let ’s take a look at the full breadth of the LinkedIn universe…
Here is some demographic information about the 120 million people on LinkedIn. The main takeaway from this slide is that there are a whole lot of incredibly diverse people on LinkedIn – all together in one place -- Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, arts organizations, government agencies, small businesses, recruiters, active job seekers and passive job seekers. No matter what profession, position or locations your students want to work in, they ’ll find related people and opportunities on LinkedIn. So let ’s look at the many ways you and your career center can use this huge network to achieve your goals and help your students.
Now let ’s talk about how LinkedIn can help you and your career center. Many of these tactics and benefits we ’ll cover in this section will apply to your students as well. But our goal here is to make sure you are comfortable with the site first. As flight attendants say, “Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.”
These FOUR recommendations, which we ’ll go through in detail, are the result of research and conversations with your colleagues to determine the specific ways that LinkedIn can benefit college career services professionals.
Our first topic is how LinkedIn can build and enhance your brand as a career services professional. It ’s a fact nowadays that very important people are Googling you. Employers considering recruiting at your school, parents, students, alumni, colleagues, academic faculty, the media, conference planners and many others. Joseph Du Pont, Director of the Hiatt Career Center at Brandeis University, has given us permission to look in-depth at his Google rankings and LinkedIn profile, which provide a strong example of excellent professional presence and credibility. About six months ago, the first listing for Joe is his LinkedIn profile at #3 on a Google search for his name. Since then, Joe has become more active updating his LinkedIn profile and interacting with his LinkedIn connections. [CLICK] Today, because he took control of his professional online presence, Joe ’s LinkedIn profile is now the first thing that appears when you Google his name. That has tremendous value for his personal brand and the reputation of his career center. Now I ’m going to go live to the LinkedIn website and we’ll look more closely at Joe’s profile.
A quick tip to mention: add your LinkedIn URL to your email signature line as you see in this example. This shows anyone you email with that you are active in social media and eager to connect on LinkedIn.
Onto our second way LinkedIn can help you and your career center: by enhancing your career center ’s brand and services. There is a reality of how many people you can reach one-on-one. LinkedIn allows you to help thousands of students and alumni and create a community in which they can help and support each other. The main place you can accomplish this is by building a LinkedIn Group.
What happens in a LinkedIn group? There are areas for discussion, job postings, news postings and more. Remember that a LinkedIn Group is a terrific SUPPLEMENT (not a replacement) to your website and other community-building and branding efforts. It is a place where students, alumni and career center staff can interact , build community and help one another. The benefits of a group – as you ’ll see in more detail in a moment – include [CLICK] Enhancing your career center or alumni association ’s brand online Increasing communication with students and alumni, like promoting events and surveys. Connecting students and alumni And list management – essentially, having a LinkedIn group is like having a database of the career paths and current contact information of thousands of your alumni. Many schools are already using their LinkedIn groups as a supplement to their existing databases because people are more likely to update their LinkedIn profiles than to send new contact or employer information to their universities. Now I ’d like to take you inside a group and show you some of the new features.
Now that we ’ve seen an overview of what a group contains, I’m going to share 3 best practices of how career centers and alumni associations are designing and using their LinkedIn Groups. The first best practice comes from University of Michigan. (Don ’t worry – we have an example from Michigan State coming up!). This is a marketing best practice. If you are going to build a group, be sure to promote it and provide instructions on your Career Center website for how to make the most of your LinkedIn group and LinkedIn in general. Too many universities and career centers build a LinkedIn group, but never promote it. Be sure to have lots of links back and forth. Additionally, If you have a blog on your website, add the blog feed to your LinkedIn group.
If you have an e-newsletter, promote your LinkedIn group in that communication. On your screen is an example from Michigan State University. In general, market your LinkedIn group as you would promote any other service or benefit of your career center.
Here is another group best practice. One of the things you can do as a Group Manager is set up a template email that people will receive when they join your group. This is a great way to share some information about your career center and show that you are actively engaged in the group they just joined. Here is a nice example from The George Washington University. Also, as a group manager you can message your group members on LinkedIn once a week. While you don ’t want to overdo it, this is a great way to share news about your career center and further engage students and alumni.
The next best practice is to spread the message about the value of LinkedIn at in-person alumni events. One alumni career services director told me that at in-person alumni events he will ask a roomful alums to raise their hands if they ’d be willing to answer a student or fellow alum’s career question or if they would be willing to help with a job lead. Every single person in the room raises their hand. He says, Our university’s LinkedIn group facilitate this support online . This is such a fabulous message to share with current students as well. They hear so often that one of the great values of a university education is the vast network of alumni you become part of. But often they don ’t really feel connected to this network or they are intimidated to reach out to alums. By joining their school’s LinkedIn group, they will find thousands of those alumni all in one place online who have opted in to a group that exists solely for networking with one another. And I would encourage you to collect testimonials from alumni saying that they are open – and often delighted – to receive networking requests or informational requests from students.
Now we ’ll look at another major role of career centers – to attract more organizations to recruit your students and alumni. Mark Presnell is a frequent user of LinkedIn to help with Johns Hopkins ’ efforts to attract more recruiters. He says… Let ’s take a look at exactly how Mark does this… LIVE DEMO Advanced Search on “Johns Hopkins” and “Procter & Gamble” Nick Nikolides Contact preferences Sending messages
Finally, Topic #4, LinkedIn is a great place to network and share resources and information with colleagues in the career services, alumni relations and recruiting professions. We ’ve already looked at Groups you can create for your career center. I also recommend that you join groups related to the profession of career services for networking, discussions, job listings and more. On your screen you can see the very active NACE LinkedIn group.
In addition to the NACE group, here are a few recommendations of groups on LinkedIn that are valuable for career services professionals… Personally, I find groups to join by checking out the profiles of people I admire and seeing what groups THEY belong to. I encourage you to reach out to your networks to ask what groups they find to be the most beneficial.
I ’d also like to invite you to join the official LinkedIn group for Career Services Professionals, where we discuss best practices for career centers using LinkedIn. I am the moderator and many LinkedIn staff members participate in this group as well. Use this group to share ideas, discussions and best practices with LinkedIn and with each other. Speaking of connecting with each other, let ’s open up to a few of your questions.
For the second half of the webinar, we ’re going to look at the ways you can teach your students and alumni to use LinkedIn to help themselves in the job hunt and as their careers progress. Many students are not aware of LinkedIn and, in many cases, they are not familiar with the overall value of networking. As you ’ll see in this section, part of educating students about how LinkedIn can help them find jobs is educating them about the process and etiquette of professional networking overall.
We ’re going to talk about five ways to help your students help themselves on LinkedIn. In each of these examples, LinkedIn is always a SUPPLEMENT, not a replacement, to what your Career Center offers.
It ’s no secret that many students don’t have – ahem – the most professional online presence on Facebook and MySpace. I know that you are more than aware of this, and I know that you are in the business of turning college students into mature professionals. LinkedIn is here to help you with that effort. Because LinkedIn is 100% professional, it provides that professional online branding and appropriate visibility that student need to project to recruiters, alumni and other professionals and grad school admissions officers. When students learn about LinkedIn they are incredibly excited to have a place online to promote a professional image.
Here you can see I ’ve taken the 5 golden rules of LinkedIn profiles and adapted them to student profiles. [CLICK THROUGH EACH TIP] Many career centers are beginning to teach LinkedIn profiles when they teach resume workshops and providing handouts or website articles about LinkedIn profile writing and other elements of the website. That is a terrific best practice.
Onto our next topic. As you talk to your students about building a professional network on LinkedIn, you ’re likely to hear this comment: “But I don’t know anyone!” This is the biggest resistance careers professionals told us they hear from students. Students join Facebook and immediately connect to 600 people. LinkedIn takes more patience and professional savvy. It also requires an understanding of who is actually in your network. LinkedIn provides a great opportunity to help students understand who is in their network and to connect with these important contacts. Networking doesn ’t mean cold-calling dozens of people. It means connecting with the people you already know and building your network from there.
If you haven’t done this already, or did it a long time ago, be sure to upload your existing address book of contacts – from Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook or elsewhere – and connect on LinkedIn to the people you already know.
Social media is certainly a communication and networking tool for students. It is also a valuable research tool. This is the third way that LinkedIn can help your students find jobs and internships. When students comes to you with interest in a specific company, show them how to research using LinkedIn company pages. They will simultaneous learn valuable information about the company AND find networking connections into that company. You can do this side-by-side with a student who comes in for a one-on-one meeting or you can teach this to groups of students at a workshop. Ultimately the goal is to show them how to do this on their own with every company they might want to work for. Here is the NEW Company Search page, where you can search for companies in a variety of ways: LinkedIn Company pages have recently gotten much more robust and feature a wealth of incredibly valuable information for job seekers.
LIVE DEMO TO LINKEDIN COMPANY PAGE: PwC Here you can research: What that company does Job titles of anyone on LinkedIn who works there or has worked there The career paths people pursued before working at that company and after. This is great if you have a company or two in mind and you want to expand your list of potential employers. Remember that even if you find the seemingly “perfect” employer, it’s never a good idea to put all of your eggs in one basket and only apply to one company You can see where that company has all of its offices, which is great if you ’re thinking about relocating to a new city or country. You can find the profiles of people who will be interviewing you – great tip for job interview prep! And, of course, you can see if that company has available jobs.
Another brand new feature of LinkedIn is the Student Jobs Portal at www.linkedin.com/studentjobs. In a nutshell: • LinkedIn has built a job portal for students and recent grads • It provides quick access to entry-level jobs and internships on LinkedIn from the best companies in the world, including jobs in non-profit and government agencies Based on a student ’s education and interests, LinkedIn will recommend jobs specifically targeted to that student – right on his or her home page or with optional email alerts. The student job portal is free.
What if a student comes doesn ’t know what company or industry he or she wants to work for and isn’t ready to look for jobs in the Student Jobs Portal? One of my favorite uses of LinkedIn is for students with nontraditional interests or students who are undecided. Encourage these students to use LinkedIn ‘s Advanced Search as a starting point in their career research. Students can type in absolutely anything that interests them and discover how that interest might become a career option. For instance, let ’s say a student think sit would be cool to work in baseball. But he’s not sure what kids of jobs exist, where they are and what kind of experience you need to get those jobs. Just type the word “baseball” into LinkedIn’s Advanced Search tool and you’ll see the profiles of anyone on LinkedIn who has the word “baseball” in his or her LinkedIn profile. Essentially, LinkedIn is a database of the career paths of 60 million people.
In contrast, if you type the word “baseball” into Google, you get all sorts of information that has nothing to do with baseball career paths. Even when you type “baseball careers” into a general search engine you mostly get stories about the careers of baseball players. If you’re not Derek Jeter, this is not particularly helpful for your career planning. But…
When you type baseball into LinkedIn ’s advanced search, all you get is career information. Here you can see over 100,000 people on LinkedIn who mention baseball in their profiles. On this first search results page alone there are people working for Major League Baseball, local baseball programs, nonprofit baseball foundation and more. Of course, as you can see from the numbers next to each name, you can also see if you are personally connected to any of these people through your network or if you belong to the same LinkedIn group as any of them.
Finally, now that your students are building their online brands and connecting professionally, you want to make sure they are networking appropriately. I ’d like to do one last live demo and show you the website of Brandeis University’s Hiatt Career Center. The Brandeis Career Center, run by Joe Du Pont, whose profile we saw at the beginning of this webinar, requires students to go through some steps before being accepted into their LinkedIn group. You can find a link to this page on the Brandeis website in our Career Services Professionals group on LinkedIn.
Ultimately, teaching students how to use LinkedIn is about helping young people make the transition from student to professional – from smiley faces and emoticons in their communications to [CLICK] professional networking correspondence like the one shown on the right. Students are facing a tough job outlook this year and probably for several years to come. We have a big responsibility helping to guide young people into their livelihoods, and skills they learn through their career centers and on LinkedIn – personal branding, networking, research and professional etiquette – will help set them on a lifelong path of success.
That brings us to the end of our recommendations for how to use LinkedIn to help you and your students. I know we ’ve covered a lot of topics, so I wanted to give you three things to do FIRST to start maximizing your LinkedIn experience…
Before we break for another round of questions, here are three suggestions for what you can do as soon as you sign off of this webinar to get started making the most of LinkedIn.
Let ’s wrap up with another round of questions. Moderator? [CLICK TO NEXT SLIDE: INSTRUCTIONS]
I know that people listening are at all different levels of knowledge about LinkedIn. If you ’d like to review any of the features we are talking about on this webinar and stay on top of new features that LinkedIn is adding frequently, here is the Learning Center on LinkedIn.
If you miss anything or want to review any of the content, this webinar will be archived so you can listen and watch again if you ’d like and we will be offering this webinar live every month if you’d like to attend again or recommend to your colleagues. Thank you so much for joining us. See you on LinkedIn!