LinkedIn for the #SAsearch

There is a high possibility that you are currently job searching in higher education OR you will be job searching at some point in your life. Because of this, you need to have an updated LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn can help in many ways. If you are job searching, the hiring manager and other people interviewing you will probably Google you during the search, make sure they find accurate information by providing it yourself on LinkedIn.Maximize your job search with Linked In

Additionally, job searchers should use the LinkedIn feature to be anonymous and look up the profiles of staff at the institution before interviews. I did this during my last job search and it was tremendously helpful to know background information and previous jobs of the individuals interviewing me. Prepping for day-long interviews is stressful and overwhelming but LinkedIn definitely makes the process easier. Here’s are some LinkedIn profile tips to make sure you do:

  • Use a professional photo, not a cropped one. Ask a friend to take a photo of you if you need a LinkedIn headshot.
  • Update your profile with positions you have held (the experience section). A description or bullet points is not necessary but the more information you provide, the better.
  • Write a summary – this is a way to introduce yourself to others at the beginning of your profile and say whatever you want to say about your interests! I used Joe Ginese’s advice about storytelling when preparing mine, thanks Joe!
  • Ask your previous supervisors or colleagues to recommend you, and pay it forward by recommending individuals that impressed you with their products or services. Recommendations add value to your profile and really show your worth.
  • Join groups related to your professional area. This is a great way to stay updated on new ideas and ask questions of others working in similar positions. These groups are also often used to share job postings.

A few other tips

  • Personalize the message when connecting with people, especially if it is someone you have never met – why should they connect with you?
  • Take advantage of the “Find Alumni” feature, a great way to reach out to alumni and connect with them, especially if they are doing what you want to be doing. (Thanks for the tip, Amber!)
  • Only connect with people you know. I’m torn on this one. I have not followed this advice and usually accept every invitation I receive. The flip side is when someone asks me “How do you know so-and-so or will you connect me with so-and-so” and I have to say, oh I really don’t know them.

Updating your LinkedIn profile is free and something that can be tremendously beneficial for your career. Set aside 1-2 hours and get your profile started up today! I’ve heard various grumblings that “LinkedIn is pointless” or “there is no reason to have a LinkedIn profile”. My question to the naysayers is, how will it hurt you? Drop that attitude today and take charge of your professional presence!

What are some other tips for using LinkedIn in higher education or student affairs? Has LinkedIn helped you be successful in a job search? Make sure to connect with me on LinkedIn and lets continue the conversation. Good luck in your current or future job search.

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Residence Hall Twitter Accounts

Last night I had a great phone call with one of my UGA classmates, Brittany, about her new job and ideas for her building’s social media presence. After brainstorming together now seemed like the perfect time to share my thoughts on residence hall Twitter accounts. Her staff has a great foundation with a blog, Facebook page, and Twitter account, but they need to be more interactive, especially with their tweets. In this post I focused on ideas for Twitter because during my 2 years as a Graduate Resident I was responsible for updating the Twitter account for @BrumbyHallUGA. I am also really interested in other ideas so please add suggestions in the comments!

Twitter tips for move-in:
Tweet tips up to the week before.
Use a hashtag during move-in.
Hang up posters saying follow us on Twitter.
Offer a contest or prize (hall t-shirts) for retweets and follows.

Twitter tips for the year:
Use Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to schedule tweets for programs.
Tweet pictures at programs inviting residents to join.
Tweet about programs, with event date, location, and time.
Tweet pictures of the program flyer.
Retweet or share information about other offices, organizations, and events on campus.
Answer questions and engage with students online. THIS IS IMPORTANT.
If allowed, give student leaders (hall council publicity chair, resident assistant, etc) access and expectations to assist with Twitter postings
Tweet about breaks, building closings, building changes, fire drills, fire alarms, and anything else that residents may want to know or have questions about.

Lastly, Evan and I did a presentation on social media last fall for hall councils. Check it out!

Do you manage a Twitter account for a residence hall or housing department? What have you learned from that process? What are some of the ways you use the account?

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Orientation Programs and Running

I knew the long hours of orientation would challenge my running schedule this summer. My Nike+ data shows it too: 56.9 miles in June compared to 76.8 miles in May. As a runner, I was feeling down about the missed days, missed miles, missed personal reflection time, missed exercise, and so-on. Running a race on the day after our last orientation session was the perfect way to re-energize, re-motivate, and re-inspire the runner in me. Why? Because it proved that I could still run a 10K. It provided an outlet for me to relax and release all the stress of 8 amazing (but long) orientation sessions in June. Lastly, I ran it with no goals or expectations for finishing time – making it my most relaxing race yet! I plan to keep this in mind as I plan for the future or experience other extra-busy life moments (month after comps? Let’s run a race!)

2013 Freedom Run with my Dad

2013 Freedom Run with my Dad

A little about the race: the Fun Fourth Freedom 10K is a Greensboro tradition. It takes place the Saturday before the Fourth of July, which is usually a really hot day. This year the temperatures were pleasant and mild at the start, but warmed up quickly as the race went on. This course starts in downtown Greensboro and takes the runners through neighborhoods, so most of it was in the shade. One of two hills I distinctly remember from the course was near the finish and the volunteers cheering us up that hill really helped me finish strong.

I hope that no matter your responsibilities you are finding ways to relax and reenergize this summer. Participating in a 10K, even with limited training, was the right activity for me. What works for you?