How to Network With Employers Using LinkedIn

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LinkedIn can be a powerful tool to make contacts and connections if utilized correctly but most users create their account and don’t really know where to go next with it. Here is a small guide to getting something out of that freshly made LinkedIn profile.

First, understand the difference between a contact and a connection. A contact is a one-way street where you simply have access to that person if the need arises and a connection goes both ways in which you and the connection actively help each other.

Next, there are a lot of articles out there telling you what every facet of your LinkedIn profile should look like. Just make sure you use a professional photo and have a well written headline and summary. Do not use a photo from your last birthday party and a headline introducing yourself.

Another thing to keep in mind is to not advertise yourself as looking for a job. Studies have shown that employers prefer “passive” job-seekers because they do not seem as desperate for just any job.

Obviously reach out to friends and colleagues you already know are using LinkedIn as this will help you find leads for connections outside your circle. Have them introduce you to their contacts instead of simply sending a generic request to be paired on LinkedIn.

Post updates on your timeline so it doesn’t just stay empty and check your connection updates as well. If you do not know what to post then share snapshots of your work and stuff related to your industry (or future industry).

Finally, check who has viewed your profile because this can be a good indicator of who likes what you put out and who doesn’t. It can also be a chance to make even more contacts because the people viewing your profile might not always take the first step.

Welcome to the professional world.

Ways to Take Control of Next Semester

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It’s that time of year again. School is just around the corner and it’s time to start getting back into the swing-of-things. Make sure to get organized, find a job, and manage your time. Here are some pro tipsĀ on how to balance school, work, and everything in between.

First, attend Mini Unionfest on Tuesday, January 17 from 12pm to 4pm where there will be student organizations and fun activities. This can be a good way to meet some new people and get involved in something new this semester.

If you go to Mini Unionfest you should also plan on going to the UCC Career Fair on February 8th from 1pm-5pm in the Kansas Union. This can be a good event to scope out major industry players whether or not you have any idea what field you want to go into after graduation.

On the subject of careers, you should try to connect with your professors because chances are they know people and could help you in extraordinary ways. They can also write you letters of recommendations for graduate school which can greatly increase your chances of getting accepted.

Aside from getting to know your professors, do not cram for exams either. Review your notes and classwork constantly because putting assignments off and doing them later is not studying. There have been a great many students who decided, “I don’t need to do this right away when I can go party tonight.”

Therefore, drink responsibly when you go out and always go out with friends. The dangers of excessive drinking and addiction are real so limit your alcohol intake so you do not do wake up have done something you regret.

Finally, do your best to eat healthy and exercise even though it is not at all cheap. Stop snacking on the M&M’s and pizza but eat some almonds or dark chocolate instead. All KU students also have free access to the rec center on campus which I highly recommend making time to go check it out.

Best of luck this semester to everyone!

 

New Years Resolutions For a New Semester

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New Year’s Eve often brings parties to celebrate the new year which presents itself as a time for change and growth. If you’re a college student, this is the best time to make some resolutions that can make next semester more positive, productive, and enjoyable. Here are some ideas if you can’t think of any off the top of your head:

Get a (specific number) of hours of sleep. Making your goals specific for the new year such as, “Get 8 hours of sleep at night” instead of “get more sleep”, will make them more tangible and easier to achieve. College life is often hard (and sleep deprived) but getting enough sleep is critical for success (and health) in school.

Get a (specific amount) of exercise each week. Finding even 30 minutes to exercise may seem like an impossibility for most students. However, setting a specific time for being active will give you more energy throughout the week. For example, do not put “go to the gym” but instead write “exercise 4 times a week for 30 minutes.

Eat healthier at every meal. Maybe not every meal, but at least eat something healthier at each meal because college diets are notorious for being unhealthy. Strive to grab a serving of fruits or veggies at each meal. The fruit can be as simple as a banana or even an apple; and a vegetable like carrots.

Go outside of your comfort zone at least once a month. Chances are your campus is full of events almost every week. Challenge yourself to try something new every month like a lecture on an unknown topic, a cultural events, or volunteer for a cause that peaks your interest. You might be surprised how much you enjoy yourself.

Finish school work at least a day in advance. This may sound like madness to some students but planning to do your work the night before is literally planning to procrastinate. Get it done early so you aren’t stressing the night before the due date then you can get more rest and turn in a better assignment.

Finally, reach out beyond your college friends. University may seem all encompassing at the moment but it will be over before you know it. This can be done electronically and not necessarily in person but connect with potential employers, old high school friends, or even siblings back home if you have them. These relationships will continue long after you’re a college graduate.