Whether you call it a resume or a CV, most jobseekers have learned over time the power of having a robust LinkedIn profile to supplement, or even supplant, that piece of paper routinely sent to a job recruiter or handed in at the start of an interview. By robust, that means having plenty of connections, glowing recommendations and direct links to showcase your experience in your field of choice. With 40 million students and recent grads on LinkedIn, this is definitely the place to be seen, even for those just entering the job market.
With so many great bells and whistles added over time, it is important to optimize one’s LinkedIn profile.
Luckily for the students of John O’Connell High School, a score of LinkedIn volunteers dropped by last week to give insider tips to foster these Mission Promise Neighborhood (MPN) young adults being ready for success after graduation, whether that means an immediate entry into the labor pool or heading off to college.
The volunteers are part of LinkedIn for Good, LinkedIn’s social impact team whose mission is to “connect underserved communities to the networks, skill, and information they need to succeed, ultimately creating economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.” This goal was definitely reached at the event.
The trio of specific interactive workshop goals for the event were:
- Create Professional Identity with a rock star LinkedIn profile.
- Apply for Opportunity to find skills-related employment via LinkedIn.
- Build a Network to reach out to professionals the students aspire to be like.
To meet the niche of students’ career paths, groups were broken into: culinary arts and entrepreneurs; building and construction; and Health and Behavioral Sciences. Workshop leaders peppered the conversation with questions aimed at getting the students to determine their career aspirations. For example, “Who is your role model?” Determining your interests is the first step to creating a LinkedIn profile that makes sense.
In one session, student Joilene explained what she had learned as follows: “I had put together an antique car show to raise money for charity. It was a success, so the LinkedIn volunteer told me this is definitely something I needed to put on my profile. I never would have thought of that!”
MEDA’s Laura Andersen, education manager for MPN, described the importance of today’s event as follows: “Today, our fellow community members at LinkedIn shared their time and knowledge with our O’Connell seniors. The afternoon built upon the great college and career work already happening in the school through excellent individual coaching and workshops. We really appreciate these LinkedIn volunteers for taking the time to work with the community!”