Updating My LinkedIn Profile

DAN'STAKE

Graduate Assistant Dan Ambrosio is currently pursuing his Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree at Walden University. In Dan’s Take, he shares his perspective on career management from a student’s eye view. Dan lives in Germany where he teaches business English. He enjoys traveling, studying, riding motorcycles, and working out.

 

LinkedIn is an excellent social networking website to connect with business professionals around the world.  In terms of job seeking and career decisions, LinkedIn is an ideal platform to promote a professional profile.  Whether individuals are looking for a new job or advancement in their careers, LinkedIn will help to achieve those goals.  First and foremost, it is imperative that your LinkedIn profile is current and up-to-date.  The more detailed you are in your profile, the greater the appeal will be to potential employers.  I, for example, was struggling with ways to improve my LinkedIn profile, so I decided to set up an appointment with a Walden Career Services Advisor.

A Career Services Advisor will definitely help you revamp your LinkedIn profile.  I received excellent tips on how to go about revamping my LinkedIn profile.  There are, of course, many career related topics you may discuss during your appointment, but during my appointment, we focused on LinkedIn.  For example, we decided to include an in-depth summary that would promote my skills and experience that correlate to my career goals.

LinkedIn Before and After

It can be quite difficult to know the best ways to promote yourself on LinkedIn.  Since social media websites are easily accessible, potential employers tend to view your profiles long before they see you in person.  Due to this, it is important that you make yourself stand out from others.  It is also important to tailor your profile according to the industry and job you would like to pursue.  You not only have to promote your strengths, but you must also discover your purpose.  While this may be challenging, a Walden Career Services Advisor can help make it easier to figure out the best ways to meet your goals.

Before my appointment, I had not thought much about the importance of creating an effective brand.  Whether someone is looking for a job or not, an updated LinkedIn profile can be very beneficial. My profile picture (which was from 2010 when I was an undergraduate student), was very outdated.  My new profile picture was taken a couple of months ago.  I also created a headline and wrote a short summary about myself.  Since this is one of the first things that potential employers will see, it is important that you mention things that illustrate your value as a professional.  I also updated my current employment status and included work descriptions for all of my previous jobs.  This information allows potential employers to understand my skill set.  Endorsements are also a great way to highlight your skills and strengths.  In addition, since I have spent some time abroad, I included a language proficiency in German.  Since my focus is on marketing, I also included a marketing plan that I developed for a group project in one of my marketing courses.  Depending on your area of expertise, it is beneficial to include projects and accomplishments that are related to your skills and career goals.

I am very pleased with the way my LinkedIn profile turned out, and I will continue making improvements and adjustments as needed. I highly recommend scheduling an appointment with a Walden Career Services Advisor for questions you may have regarding job searches, social media, career advancement, and other career management topics.  I greatly improved my LinkedIn profile as a result of the appointment, and I believe my improvements add value to my professional profile and network.

Written by Dan Ambrosio, Walden DBA Student, Career Services Graduate Assistant

Blog Dan Ambrosio

Creative Networking Strategies for Landing a Field Experience Site

Jennifer Wisneski, a Walden PhD in Psychology ̶ Clinical Psychology student, landed a Field Experience site by connecting with a potential site supervisor through LinkedIn.  She is our guest blogger for this post.

jennifer

Jennifer Wisneski

 

The Challenge of Finding a Practicum

As I completed my coursework for the Clinical Psychology PhD program and started working on my dissertation, I knew it was time to explore field experience requirements.  I started researching potential sites one year prior to securing a practicum and faced several challenges along the way.  In my small town, I found very few sites with a full-time psychologist to provide supervision.  Most psychologists I contacted worked in private practice or were close to retirement, neither willing to take on a student.  Other sites made it difficult to get past the clerical staff to speak directly to the psychology department.

With the increased need for mental health services, it was incredibly surprising to exhaust my list of prospective sites in a few short months.  I reached out to the Field Experience department at Walden, and they directed me to a website which manages a database of internships and allows students to apply for multiple opportunities.  To utilize the database search, I needed to create a profile and upload my resume.  After working for the same employer for the past nine years, I realized my resume was outdated.  I decided to contact Career Services for help.


3 Helpful Tips from Career Services

During my initial phone call with Career Services, I received a brief overview of available services and learned what to expect from career advising appointments.   The knowledge my career advisor managed to pack into the 45-minute session was well worth every minute!  Specifically, I gained the following three tips from my career advisor to help me in my Field Experience search:

  • First, I received many suggestions on how to improve my CV by using strong action words, being specific about my experience, and strengthening my accomplishments to showcase my level of professionalism in the human services field.
  • Second, my career advisor suggested I build a profile on LinkedIn. I was unsure about using LinkedIn, but I was willing to try anything to network while searching for a practicum site.  My career advisor taught me how to search for people in my field of interest using LinkedIn, which helped me make connections with potential site supervisors.
  • Third, I learned how to set up a career portfolio that I could bring with me to interviews. I developed a portfolio to showcase my accomplishments, professional interests, and samples of my work.

A Surprise Call from a New LinkedIn Connection

It was incredible how quickly opportunities opened up after a few sessions working with Career Services.  After I updated my CV and set up my LinkedIn profile, I started to connect with local professionals in the mental health field.  To my amazement, within days of establishing my profile, I received a phone call from one of my new contacts on LinkedIn.  She had just started in her role as Chief Psychologist at a local psychiatric hospital that week.  I had been trying to set up a practicum at this site for over a year with no success.  She told me the summary of my qualifications on my CV caught her attention.  Within two weeks, I met with her for an interview.  Referencing my portfolio during the interview made the process stress-free, and I secured the practicum position during the interview.


Ready for the Next Career Step

Having an updated CV, portfolio, and LinkedIn profile has allowed me to expand my professional network in many ways.  I interviewed with three other sites for practicum and now I have several sites to consider for internship.  This process has also improved my confidence and interviewing skills, and expanded my professional network.  In addition to establishing a plan to finish my field experience and graduate in 2018, I have a great outlook to the start of my professional career!

Written by Jennifer Wisneski, PhD in Psychology-Clinical Psychology student, Walden University. 

jennifer

Top 10 Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

linkedin networking

LinkedIn is the number one professional networking site.  Here are 10 ways you can improve your profile for career management and job search success:

  1. Update Your Profile Photo

Make sure you have a professional headshot photo that lets your personality shine through.

  1. Communicate Your Unique Value Proposition in Your Headline

Write a headline that reflects the different “hats” you wear as a professional, your professional passion, or what sets you apart from other professionals in your field.

  1. Use the Summary Section to Tell Your Story

The summary should be more personal than the resume and written in the first person. Highlight your background, major accomplishments, professional passions, and describe your goals.

  1. Customize Your Public Profile URL

Make your LinkedIn URL easier to share by making it shorter.

  1. Click on Profile.
  2. Click Edit Profile.
  3. Click on the “settings” icon to the right of your URL.
  4. Under Your public profile URL section on the right of the page, click the “edit” icon.
  5. Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
  6. Click Save.

 

  1. Be Strategic with Groups

Choose 2-3 groups of interest to join.  These can be alumni, skills, or professional groups.  Recruiters are known to seek out talent in groups.

  1. Ask for a Recommendation

Recommendations are essential to a solid profile.  Reach out to former colleagues or supervisors, clients, professors, or vendors.  Make sure that you ask someone who knows you well to write a solid recommendation.

  1. Connect with Coworkers and Walden Classmates

LinkedIn is all about building and cultivating your professional network, so reach out to those around you and invite them to connect.  This is an easy way to build your network.

  1. Share Your Professional and Academic Accomplishments

Attract attention by adding visual representations of your work to your profile.  Upload videos, images, documents and presentations.

  1. Showcase Professional Expertise and Writing Skills through the Self-Publishing Feature

LinkedIn makes it easy to share your knowledge through its self-publishing feature.  You can write a book review, share how you have applied your learning to the workplace, or write about your subject matter expertise.

  1. Utilize the New ‘Open Candidates’ Job Search Feature

LinkedIn lets users privately alert recruiters that they are open to new job opportunities. On the Jobs tab, go to Update your preferences to indicate:

  • The types of jobs sought
  • Preferred experience level
  • Locations desired
  • Preferred industries
  • Preferred company size

Updating your profile using these 10 improvements could make the difference between being overlooked for a position or called for an interview.

To learn more ways to improve your LinkedIn profile and experience, view the Career Services Center’s LinkedIn Webinar Series.

 By Nicolle Skalski, Senior Career Services Advisor

Nicolle

 

How Being in the Right Place at the Right Time Led to Two New Jobs

Rudene Thomas

Have networking and being a member of a professional organization helped you in your career?

Joining a professional organization can be rewarding and fulfilling when trying to enhance your skill set.  Some professional organizations are expensive.  You need to determine if an organization meets your needs along with how you can contribute by volunteering on a committee.  A person should not just join for the sake of “what’s in it for me.”  A person should consider how she or he will personally benefit and contribute to the organization and its goals.

When I joined the Federal government in Bethesda, Maryland, I wanted to know how I could enhance my skills.  So I joined a nonprofit organization named Federally Employed Women (FEW).  I attended a chapter meeting and liked the vision, mission, and goals of the organization and what it had to offer.  I considered how I could contribute to this group.  I served in several capacities, and all of the positions were rewarding.

My most notable role was serving a chapter president.  This opportunity gave me the ability to develop leadership skills, do public speaking, direct committees, recruit members, write awards presentations, develop the budget, build professional connections, and meet with senior officials of the FEW organization and leaders from my previous employment.

So, in essence, a person must look at volunteering as a way to gain valuable skills to excel in one’s career.  It also shows that you will go above and beyond to do extra activities outside of work.  It is hard work but fun work that you can add to your resume.  Often employers such as the Federal government like to see that individuals do volunteer work.

Here’s an update on how networking landed me a new job at my current employer as a Program Analyst in the Office of Policy Development and Coordination (OPDC).  In December 2015, I was in the hallway looking at the employee bulletin board.  A man came along and asked me what I was looking at, and I told him that I was looking at the announcement of an employee retiring.  During our conversation, I told him who I was and where I worked along with sharing my educational background.  I had seen this man in passing but never knew his name and still didn’t ask his name.  So we departed, and I didn’t give it any more thought.  The next day the man came into the office where I worked and spoke to my supervisor.  She came over and told me that the man was a supervisor in OPDC, and he wanted me to participate in a grants competition by reading and scoring applications.  So of course, I agreed because that was an opportunity for me to do something different and meaningful.

Well, I did such a fantastic job that the Director, OPDC, sent an email to my supervisor, her boss, and the OPDC Supervisor.  The most notable statement in this email from the Director, OPDC, was that I was very detail-oriented, concise, and thorough.  Also, I provided supporting information to justify my scores on the grant applications.  I was so thrilled to see these comments in writing.   I considered reaching out to the OPDC Supervisor since he invited me to participate.  I reached out to him and requested a brief meeting.  I printed out my resume and went to his office.  I expressed an interest in his office if an opportunity opened in the future.  He offered me a detail assignment for six months.  This gave me the opportunity to try out a new job and see if I liked it and if the team liked me.  Well, the detail assignment worked out, and I’m permanently in this office.

I don’t know if this was luck or being at the right place at the right time.  If you are seeking a new opportunity, it’s best to share your story but be brief.  Just tell the person the office you are in, your position, and your educational background.  Remember you only get 1-2 minutes so do your best, stay calm and always be ready because you never know who has that next great opportunity.

Good luck!

Written by Rudene Thomas, PhD in Public Policy and Administration Student, Guest Blogger

Rudene Thomas

Online Networking: A Review of the Master’s Networking Social

Walden Career Connections Networking eventOne of the primary concerns I had about becoming an online student was the loss of interaction with my classmates. Most of my classes added in a component with discussions and other ways for us work together with our classmates, but this was purely academic. I definitely enjoyed hearing about my classmates’ thoughts on the weekly lessons, but I sometimes felt like I was missing that professional connection. This is why I was thrilled to be a part of the online networking event that Walden University offered on May 19th.

The timing of this event was perfect for the working professional—which seems to be a common theme among graduate students. It occurred in the evening on a Thursday night. For me, living in the Eastern time zone, this time was after working hours and traditional “dinner time”. I had plenty of time to get organized and prepared for the event after the typical working day.

Going into the event, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I knew that there were individual rooms based on your degree programs, but I wasn’t sure what the exact format would be. When logging onto the event, the user first sees the lists of rooms that are available. These were, again, based on majors and programs, but included some of the following: Education, Information Technology, Business, General Chat, and more.

Contrary to what this may sound like, these are not typical chat rooms. When selecting which chat you wish to be a part of, you will be placed into a line waiting on a conversation. I never had to wait longer than a few seconds. In fact, most of the time, the next conversation loaded immediately after finishing the first one.  As soon as a “chatter” is available for you to speak with, a conversation screen is loaded on your computer and the clock starts.

In this chat, you are connected to one person. That person’s information is displayed on the side of the chat screen, usually with a photo, their connection to Walden University, major or program information, and a link to their LinkedIn page. The timer starts as soon as the conversation loads, and you have seven to ten minutes to connect with this person. During the sixty minute event, I was able to connect with six people—so it moves fairly quickly.

During the course of the event, I moved between a few of the rooms, meeting and interacting with students. While the rooms may have all been different, the conversations typically started out the same way: “Why are you here and where do you want to go?” I met authors, educators, non-profit professionals, and IT professionals from all over the world. It was truly a virtual networking experience.

The system notifies you when the chat timer is about to expire, but as previously mentioned, you have other ways of staying connected. In the future, I would recommend loading the person’s LinkedIn profile as soon as the chat begins so you don’t have to scramble to pull it up while the clock runs out. This is an excellent way to begin or continue to grow your LinkedIn connections. I would strongly encourage Walden University students to take advantage of these opportunities. These people are your classmates or alumni from your university and they lead fascinating lives all throughout the world. Meet them, connect with them, and stay in touch!

The Career Services Center invites you to participate in the next Walden Career Connections event:

Social Change Networking Hour, July 21, 2016, from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. Register for the event here.

Would you like some ideas on how to prepare for online networking events? Read:  Three Tips for Maximizing Our New Online Networking Tool, Walden Career Connections!

 Written by Samantha Shore, Walden Career Services Center Intern

Samantha Shore

Blogging about My Doctoral Research

Holly Chun

Studying at Walden University as a Doctor of Education student is a lot of fun, or was until we arrived at a large milestone – the Capstone Project that kicks off with research. My program became challenging as soon as I started working my way through the research.  I am a healthcare professional with no teaching experience or work experience in an educational environment, so I did not know where to start.

Fortunately, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.    I wanted to research computer use by women my age.  The first step to initiate a research project was to identify a local problem that warranted research.  How could I translate my thoughts into a local problem?  Like many fellow students, I changed my direction many times in several semesters.

Reflecting on this setback, I found myself drowning in the vast amount of literature without anchoring on a focus. The topic of baby boomer (born 1946 – 1964) women and computer use is way too broad to become a viable research topic. The literature on education often depicts boomers as parents or grandparents, not as students.  Articles that discuss female baby boomers as students are scarce. It was both a challenge and an opportunity. With no roadmap and very few signposts, I was marching into an uncharted territory. Then I thought of an ingenious but erroneous approach.

Writing the Research Proposal, a Little at a Time

In the summer of 2012, I started a blog titled Education Issues for Female Baby Boomers and hoped fellow researchers would leave comments that I could use to improve my proposal. I divided the writing into small trunks and made it more manageable. I incorporated most of the blog’s content into my final proposal.

cartoon of woman cutting grass

However, it was a terrible mistake. I published my blog posts before I submitted my proposal. When it was time to check for originality, I was found plagiarizing myself. After learning the hard way, I gave my blog an overhaul. In the 2.0 version, I wrote about my reflections and inspirations as I continued my doctoral journey.

cartoon of woman at desk

Unforeseen Bonus

Becoming a blogger, I needed to learn how to publicize my work. I read articles about how to increase exposure that would result in more views and discovered the power of social media during the process. Also, I found new relevance and direction to my research. Eventually, I decided to research how female boomer students collaborate using mobile technologies.  Social media played a significant role in my research.

Writing a blog, regardless of its intent, is a good habit. A scholar should keep her writing brain and mentality active. Therefore, I started another blog, A Day in the Life of a Baby Boomer Woman. It is less academic, more personal, and more engaging.

What I Gained from Blogging

There were two primary goals when I started my first blog: to manage the writing task and to invite collaboration. During the process, I discovered the benefits of social media, which I included in my research. Writing is a healing process and an essential skill for students.  It is a good habit to write frequently, which I maintain by writing my blogs.

Written by Holly Chun, EdD Student and Guest Blogger

Holly Chun

Follow-up: Take Your Networking Further!

 

global map showing image of a network So you attended a Walden Career Connections networking event. You met new people, had great conversations and it was actually fun! To make your networking experience a complete success, there is still one more step you need to take: Follow-up. Taking the initiative to reach out to your new networking contacts can be intimidating, so we have provided some easy ways that you can take your connections further.

Connect on LinkedIn

After making a new contact, a great first step is to send them a connection request on LinkedIn. Walden Career Connections makes the process easy by allowing you to register for networking events with your LinkedIn profile. That way, it is easy to find your new contact on LinkedIn. Instead of sending a generic request, which can seem impersonal, start your relationship out the right way by sending them a personalized note.  Here is a great example:

“I really enjoyed chatting with you on Walden Career Connections yesterday! It is always a pleasure to meet another HR professional. I hope you enjoy your conference next week. I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn so we can chat further in the future.”

By adding some details, you are letting your contact know that you valued the conversation and the information they shared. So, how can you remember all the things you chatted about?

Jog Your Memory

A surefire way to make the follow-up process easier is by taking some simple notes that will help you to remember your personal interactions. The Walden Career Connections platform provides a field to make notes after every networking chat. A transcript of your conversations will be saved for you to access after each event, so you can look back at your chat history, review your notes and gather contact information. In addition, you can utilize LinkedIn’s relationship management tool. Located on your contact’s profile, the relationships tab gives you the option to add notes, set reminders to follow-up, and even tag them connections on your relationship. These tags allow you to quickly search your contacts to identify colleges, friends or classmates. Taking a little extra time to organize your network makes it easier to engage.

Give

Networking is all about mutually beneficial relationships. Instead of following up with your new contacts to see how they can benefit you, how about offering to help them? Pay attention to status updates, posts and discussion topics in your LinkedIn groups to identify where you can add value. Could you introduce your contacts to a potential mentor, volunteer for their organization or advise them in an area of your expertise? People will remember your kindness next time that you need a favor. As Keith Ferrazzi once said, “The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity.”

Meet for Coffee

Online networking is convenient, but building a strong network is all about establishing relationships. Often it is easier to solidify your new connections by speaking in person. Consider sending a LinkedIn message or email requesting a face-to-face meeting. Here is an example:

“I really enjoyed speaking with you during the Doctoral Networking Social. It’s great to share ideas with another DBA student! You mentioned that you live in the Atlanta area. I would love to speak with you further about your experiences working with Smith Corp. Would you like to get together for coffee? Are you available for a quick 20-minute meeting in the next couple weeks?”

It is important to remember to flexible with scheduling and make sure that that you meet in a location where your contact feels comfortable. Taking your networking offline is a great way to become comfortable talking about your career goals and asking others to share their advice and experience.

Get Networking

If you have not signed-up for a Walden Career Connections event, make sure to register using the links below. Begin your networking today – and don’t forget to follow-up!

Choose the event that works best for you:

 

Master’s Networking Social
Thursday, May 19, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EDT Register now!

International Networking Hour

Wednesday, May 25, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. EDT Register now!

We look forward to networking with you!

Written by Angie Lira, Senior Career Services Advisor

Angie Lira