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Monday, October 19, 2020

Opinion

Professional networking sites are the key to career advancement during the pandemic


Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

In these unprecedented times where our interactions with others are severely restricted, technology and social networking sites allow us to remain connected. Although sometimes overlooked by college students, professional networking sites like LinkedIn are a great way to make and keep connections. 

Most business majors are encouraged to have an active LinkedIn profile as it is one of the best ways to build a professional network. However, not many other colleges encourage their students to be active on LinkedIn. 

For all students who are not already on LinkedIn, here are a few of the most compelling reasons why you should create and continuously update your professional networking profile:

The first professional step

 Most college students have little to no experience in professional settings, which means that once we leave college, we will not have the necessary tools to participate in serious settings.

Joining LinkedIn or any other professional networking site is the first step towards the professional world, because it can kick start the desire to pursue a career after college.

Having an end goal in mind will help you stay on track throughout college as you will have a better idea of what you are working towards. 

If you are uncertain of what you want to pursue after college, connecting with professionals in different fields can help you get a better sense of what certain jobs entail, so don’t be afraid to browse and seek different paths. 

Making connections

By joining a professional networking site like LinkedIn, students are able to make connections with professionals in their field of interest, seek mentorships and even find jobs.

This pandemic has forced us to physically distance ourselves, but these sites give us the opportunity to continue to build our professional network and make the connections that we would have otherwise made in person. 

More than just a resume

College is the best time to build your resume; you are learning and hopefully participating in your field of interest and now it is time to show future employers what you are capable of.

Your profile should be much more than just a document with some dates and information about yourself.

Your profile should be a super-resume! Have the basic resume worthy information available, but also include a portfolio of your best work, professional looking photographs of yourself, your plans for the future and why you are interested in your field of study.

This additional information will present a much more accurate picture of yourself and will help prospective employers get a better sense of who you are. 

Starting a profile early on will help you gradually build your portfolio and resume, make connections with peers and mentors, as well as practice professional interactions with others.

The job market is incredibly competitive as more people find themselves unemployed, so preparing and perfecting an online professional profile will give you a leg up when looking for jobs in the future. 

Making a profile is the first step towards better preparing for your career, however, maintaining that profile is just as important as creating it.

Once you have created your profile, remember to continuously update it with your latest accomplishments so that your growing network can see what you are up to. 

Gina Medina is a journalism senior who can be reached at [email protected]

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