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Posts Tagged ‘job search’

  1. Cornell Career Services Keeping Up With the Times

    February 26, 2013 by Ian Perry

    Yesterday, Cornell’s Arts & Sciences Career Services department held its second LinkedIn workshop in the past three and a half months. The turnout was great and students seemed to get a decent amount out of it. I think workshops like this show that Cornell’s Career Services department is doing a good job of keeping up with the times. While emphasis is often put on having the “perfect” resume, or practicing for an interview, tools which make those things easier, like LinkedIn, are often overlooked. It’s amazing to me how many students are not on LinkedIn (and part of the reason why I decided to start the Cornell Social Media Club). It’s not that students don’t understand the importance of networking, it’s just that they aren’t aware of how to use all of the tools at their disposal. This is why it’s necessary to have sessions purely devoted to creating, maintaining, and successfully utilizing a LinkedIn profile.

    From Paper to Digital

    Traditionally, stress has been put on the paper resume, but in today’s world, almost everything is digital. Whether you like it or not, you have some sort of online presence. This can be through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc., but people can find information about you online if they want to. And guess who wants to? The company that you want to work for. Giving people one place where they can go to find your portfolio, just makes their job easier. One of the best ways to do this is probably through a personal website, but if you don’t have the resources or time to put together a site, a LinkedIn profile is a great alternative. It’s one place where you can go beyond the restrictions of a paper resume. You can summarize your career, life, and/or personal goals, and give a much more detailed explanation of what you’ve done in your professional career. It’s also a great place to link to other sites where you maintain a presence (Twitter, a blog, etc.).

    Showing Your Human Side

    Having an online presence to show to potential employers or just people you want to connect with is a great way to show your human side. This is something that can be extremely difficult to do through a paper resume. It has been done in some very creative ways though. The Internet makes it much easier to show multiple sides of who you are. You can show your professional experiences through text on your LinkedIn profile, but then also link to a blog, Twitter, YouTube channel, Shelby roll, etc. It’s a great way to say, “Yes, I have lots of experience and I work hard, but I also like to have fun and do other things besides work,” which can be tough to say on paper. There are also less restrictions in terms of length (especially if you generally stick to a one page resume). It’s also really easy to show off your work. Did you have a blog post featured on a prominent news site, do you write for the school paper, did you make an awesome web app? These are all things that are super easy to link to from a LinkedIn profile. Showing what you’ve done is much more impressive than describing it, and your projects often show who you are and what your interests are. Make sure you’re showing your human side.

    Building and Maintaining Connections

    “People love helping students.” You’ve probably heard this before, and from my experience, it’s definitely true. People are often more than willing to help students. They’re even more willing if they’re an alumnus of the school that you’re going to. They’ve been in your shoes and understand what you’re going through. In my opinion, LinkedIn is one of the best ways to connect with alumni, besides face-to-face interaction. The ability to join groups and search by company, industry, school, and keyword makes it extremely easy to meet people who are doing what you think you might want to do with your life. While I don’t suggest connecting on LinkedIn with people you don’t know (especially not with the generic LinkedIn connection request message), there are many other ways to connect with alumni. For example, try looking them up in your school’s database of contacts and send them an email. LinkedIn amplifies the power of a school’s network, and can lead to great opportunities. Remember though, ask for advice, not jobs.

    I could go on and on about LinkedIn and maintaining your online web presence/portfolio. I think it’s extremely important, and I’m glad that Cornell Career Services thinks so too. Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips for students using LinkedIn.


  2. What do you want to be when you grow up?

    September 25, 2012 by Ian Perry

    The craziness of on-campus recruiting is well underway. Two days entirely devoted to hundreds of companies in Barton Hall. All of the information sessions a person could ever ask for. Plenty of chances to give out tons of resumes. Free food and networking with recruiters. So many opportunities to land that interview and then that first job, right? But what if you have no idea what you want to do with your life yet?

    It’s the age old question that you’ve probably been asked at least ten times: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Does graduating college count as “growing up”? It seems like it’s almost time to make the decision I’ve been debating since I was a little kid playing with Legos. It’s kind of a stressful one too. What do I want to do for the rest of my life? Why do I have to make such an important decision right this instant?

    Yeah, it’s great to have goals and ideas about what you want to do, but it’s important to be doing something that interests you and that you’re also passionate about. I’ve watched both of my parents make many career changes. My Mom, who started out as a CPA, and made her way into HR, is still trying to decide what she wants to do when she “grows up”. And my Dad went from dentistry to computer programming to teaching. What are the chances that what I choose to do now will be what I’m still doing ten or even five years down the road? The fact is that things change. What I’m interested in right now may not interest me at all a few years from now.

    A few of my friends have been freaking out because they claim that they don’t know what they want to do with their lives. They’ll either be entering the job market or continuing on to grad school next year. So, I understand their anxiety and stress over not knowing what direction to go in. However, I’d argue that maybe they don’t need to know just yet. Find something that you like now, and see where it leads you. There’s a chance you’ll hit the nail on the head and end up in your dream job from day one. But, there’s also a chance that you’ll end up doing something completely different. If you don’t know what you want to do when you “grow up,” that’s okay. You’re not the only one, and you have time to figure it out.