The next step is to begin to build your network. Use the search feature to connect to people you know (note the box at the top of the page – click the icon to the left to limit the category of your search). Next join some groups. You can join the Wichita State University group, and as a graduate, you can join the Wichita State Alumni group. Linked Local Wichita is another general group you could join. Use the advanced search to find groups related to your profession, for example “engineer”. Once you join a group, you will increase your network, as well as gain an opportunity to learn what these professionals are discussing.
LinkedIn is a great way to get information about companies and types of jobs. Using the search feature, you can search for employees at a company you are interested in. Also try a search using job titles you might be interested in. This can give you the chance to look at people’s education and career paths to see how they got their job. You might find someone you know and can send them a request to connect.
Continue to build your connections. When you go to an event, such as a career fair, follow up with people you meet by searching for them later on LinkedIn. When you send them a request to connect, you can remind them of how you met.
Another great way to search is to use the alumni tool. Enter: linkedin.com/alumni. This will give you a list of WSU alumni and from this list you can learn where recent alumni are working. This might give you additional people you will want to connect to.
You are building your network to increase your knowledge about the world of work and to make lasting connections. Don’t ask your connections for a job!
When requesting to talk to or connect with others, be polite, specific and concise. Here are some suggestions about creating a good message. (it’s been suggested to keep your message to 100 words or less to improve the chances of it being read). Others are often willing to talk to someone who is seeking information about a profession or a company.
LinkedIn has many features and changes frequently. Visit the LinkedIn Help Center and the LinkedIn YouTube channel for more information.
Once you have created your resume, you can use it to create your LinkedIn Profile. It’s easy to get started by going to linkedin.com and requesting to join. But to make the most of this tool, put some extra effort into crafting a solid profile.
Career Services will review your profile and provide feedback. This can be done during an appointment or walk-in hours.
1. Pick an appropriate photo. Select a professional headshot of you alone. No cute pics!
2. Think about your profile headline. It could be your job title. It could be “Psychology Major, Wichita State University” or “Student, Wichita State University”. If you have graduated, it could be “Recent WSU graduate seeking marketing position”. There are a multitude of options. One suggestion is to look around at the headlines of people you know and/or admire, including recent alumni or people who have a job you would like to have.
3. Review location and industry. Choose the industry you intend to enter, and if you intend to move, change location.
4. Fill in your employment history. Here’s where your resume will help. Fill in the company names, positions, and dates. Use some of your resume bullets to give an idea of what skills and knowledge you have gained in these positions.
5. Next, add your education, including your major and minors. It also gives you a place to add your school activities. Enter your expected graduation date (if this changes you can always update it) and include your GPA if it is a 3.0 or above. There are other areas on LinkedIn where you can add projects, publications, certifications, miscellaneous courses, and honors and awards. For now, concentrate on adding your college major, and then later go back and fill in these other details.
6. Edit your Public Profile URL. LinkedIn will provide you with a URL, but you can change it to your name or a version of a name. This will make it easier to include your LinkedIn URL in your e-mail signature on your resume.
7. Edit your contact info to add a personal website or Twitter account.
8. Fill in your Skills and Expertise. These are the words recruiters may use to search for you. This is another area where you may want to review the profile of someone who has a job you would like and modify skills as appropriate. This will give others a chance to endorse you for these skills.
9. When completing your summary, think of it as a concise cover letter or 30 second elevator speech where you describe your goals and qualifications. Present it in short blocks of text or bullet points for easy reading. Again, this is a great time to review the summary of someone you admire.