Berkeley Today Stories
Berkeley College Career Services Help Students Boost Their Brand on LinkedIn
How many times have you applied for a job over the internet but you didn’t hear anything back? Your resume disappeared in the midst of the submissions process and you couldn’t follow up because you didn’t know who to contact. Flore Dorcely-Mohr, Senior Director of Career Services (Berkeley College Online® and Paramus) said this is when having a professional LinkedIn profile can really come in handy.
She recently conducted a two-day PowerPoint presentation for students along with co-host Amy Soricelli, Vice President of Career Services, to explain the benefits of LinkedIn.
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On LinkedIn, “I can see exactly who posted a job and if I sign up for a Premium account (which Berkeley College students have free access to through their personal career counselor) I can easily see how long a job was posted, who has applied, and where I stand in terms of job qualifications,” Flore said. “There is a lot of great insight that I can’t get anywhere else.”
Planning your career
During the workshop students learned “The Keys to Having a Great Career.” What does the world need? What do you love to do? What are you good at and who is going to pay for your services? Those are some of the questions that Flore said students need to be thinking about when planning their career.
“Sometimes you don’t give yourself a chance and then you find ‘a job’ but you’re still miserable. That’s probably because you didn’t ask yourself all the right questions,” she suggested.
In order to stand above the competition, a LinkedIn profile should always include: A professional head shot; a creative headline that tells employers what excites you most and about all of the “cool things” you want to do in the future; a summary – no more than three to four paragraphs that describes your motivation, what you’re skilled at; and your work experiences and accomplishments – including work samples, photos, and videos. You’ll also want to mention clubs and organizations that you are affiliated with.
“I didn’t build 11,000 connections by just setting up a profile and waiting. You have to be active!” Flore said. “I found my job at Berkeley College on LinkedIn and one of the people that I hired – reached out to me on LinkedIn, so I’ve seen it work, that’s the only reason I would ever promote it.”
Networking in the job market
If you can’t afford to join a professional association or you are way too busy to attend meetings, join a LinkedIn Group. There are more than 1,000 business associations to choose from and members can register for up to 100 at a time – free of charge. This is a direct link to hiring managers and information about networking events. Users can also launch a blog post to inspire others through their writing and exchange ideas.
With more than 21,760 connections, Amy has been named the most active person on LinkedIn. In addition to her passion for helping others find jobs, her poetry posts and viral Instagram photos featuring the South Bronx, have a worldwide following across the internet.
“Find out why you do what you do and where it fits into your life, because that’s very important,” she said.
Protecting your professional reputation
Berkeley College partnered with BrandYourself.com to provide online reputation management software to all students. “If you are a Berkeley College student, go on to BrandYourself.com using your email address, and within minutes you can see what is being said about you on social media. “I would do that before you start the job search,” she advised, ‘because when your resume goes out to an employer, the first thing they do is Google your name and everything about you will pop up!”
According to BrandYourself.com, how you look online impacts your career. Unprofessional language and images, damaging search results, and poor communication skills are among the high risk factors that prevent any potential candidate from getting hired.
“I learned that you need to set yourself apart from everybody else. You can’t just be enthusiastic about yourself, you have to show off your personality – but not too much,” James Cruz laughed. “I always use Indeed.com for my job search, but I never realized just how many features that LinkedIn offers!” The future 2021 Accounting graduate wants to help solve crimes using his business background and love of numbers, as an aspiring police officer. What he enjoys most about Berkeley College is that, “I’m a student in the class, not just a number!”
Following the presentation, students won door-prize giveaways and were treated to a complimentary photo shoot with hair and makeup, and clothing from the Career Services Borrowing Boutique to enhance their LinkedIn profile.
“You need a public platform,” Flore said. “What good is it if you’re excellent at what you do and you love what you’re doing, but nobody knows about it?”