Why Skills Matter More Than Your Degree

19 01 2017

ghc-dxozpzy-noah-hinton

When applying for a job, hiring managers are going to look at your education to determine whether or not they feel you are qualified for the job. But your degree and education are not the only important factors when considering if you fit the job needs.

The skills and experiences you have are sometimes more important than your education. In many ways, having the right set of skills will be more beneficial than having the right degree.

But why are your skills so important when applying to a job?

Skills Better Show Your Personality, Values and Goals

While your degree can show you are educated and a hard worker, it doesn’t tell much about you as a person. Your degree can show you’re capable of completing the job tasks, but it doesn’t tell how well you will fulfill the other necessities of the position.

In order to be successful in a job, you need to have communication skills, time management skills, and teamwork and leadership skills. If you’re unable to work as a team, communicate with your coworkers, and properly manage your tasks, your education won’t matter.

A Degree May Get You the Job, But Skills Help You Advance

Your entry-level positon is rarely the job you hope to be in until retirement. While having the right degree and the right education may land you the entry-level position you need to enter the workforce, without necessary skills you won’t move beyond into higher roles and responsibilities.

If you want to continue to receive promotions and be handed bigger and better projects, you need to show you have the skills employers are looking for in long-term employees. Continue to develop your skills even after you’ve been hired into your initial position.

Skills Show Experiences Education Can’t

When you’re ready to enter into the workforce, you’ve had years and years of experiences and challenges behind you that do not relate to your degree. Through part-time jobs you’ve held, internships you’ve participated in, or even military experience, you’ve developed skills, habits and behaviors your degree cannot represent.

If you didn’t have a traditional education or feel your skills better reflect what you can contribute to the position, you may want to consider applying to a job using a different kind of resume. By highlighting your skills instead of your education, you’re putting what you feel to be most important at the forefront of the hiring manager’s mind.

Having a Degree is Important the Focus of the Degree is Not

When you go to get a degree, the field of your degree is becoming less and less important. As jobs become more fluid and majors become more specific, it isn’t always clear where a degree lines up in the workforce. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

A degree tells a hiring manager you are serious about continuing your education and you are able to follow a rigid course of classes and requirements to achieve a goal. Having a degree is typically a prerequisite for entering the workforce and getting a job, but the focus of your degree is becoming less and less important.

If you’re applying for your first “real” job, don’t stress too much about your degree. As long as you’ve received a quality education, you’re serious about the job you’re applying to, and you’re ready to work hard for the company that hires you, your major or field of focus won’t be the most important application factor. Instead, let your unique skills, values and perceptions land you the job of your dreams and fuel you through promotions and raises.

sarah landrum head shotAbout the author: Sarah Landrum is a graduate from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR. Now, she’s a freelance writer and career blogger sharing advice on navigating the work world and achieving happiness and success in your career. She’s also a member of the Campus to Career family, serving as a featured contributor on a regular basis. You can find her tweeting during boring speeches @SarahLandrum





Best Cities for New Grads

8 03 2016

photo-1429637119272-20043840c013

If you’re a recent college grad or are going to graduate soon, you’re about to be faced with a choice — now that you finally have your degree, you need to move somewhere and start your career.

Where should you go? There are a lot of factors to consider.

One is the economy of the city you’ll be moving to — go where the jobs are! In a strong economy, you can not only land the job you want, but also get paid well to do it. Good local healthcare, access to transportation, shopping and other amenities are also worth examining.

Another factor is the city’s culture. Life shouldn’t be all about work, so consider what you can do for fun. If a city has a vibrant nightlife and great places to eat and hang out, you’ll probably be happier there. Local demographics are also key, as you’ll want to have people your age to enjoy the culture with.

Perhaps the most important factor for many college grads is affordability — how much does it cost to live in the area? Not everyone’s first job out of college is going to rake in the big bucks, and most college students have loan debt to deal with, too. Look for a city where the cost of living isn’t going to keep you from enjoying a life there.

With economy, culture and affordability in mind, the following cities all pass the test, making them a few of the best cities for recent college graduates.

Austin, Texas

Austin is known for its mild climate and for an unofficial motto, “Keep Austin Weird,” that attracts support for hip local businesses. The city’s home to a vibrant creative culture and to one of the biggest arts and music festivals in the U.S.

The city is also well known for its tech industry, with top employers that include Apple, Google, Microsoft, IBM, Dell and Samsung. Austin ranks first in the nation for millennial population, which is 29 percent. The unemployment rate in 2014 was a mere 3.7 percent. At just $1,656, the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is low, making Austin an affordable option for young graduates.

Seattle, Washington

Millennials are flocking to Seattle not only to rent — the median for a two-bedroom apartment is just $2,596 — but also to buy homes. The city is becoming increasingly trendy for young professionals, who make up roughly 28 percent of its population.

The home of the futuristic Space Needle and the headquarters of Amazon, Starbucks and Microsoft is also surrounded by a scenic mountain landscape for those who love to hike and explore outdoors.

Denver, Colorado

The Mile-High City claims to have 300 days of sunshine a year — this isn’t quite true, but Denver still boasts great weather. What the city does have is the largest park system in the country, beautiful nearby mountains and a low cost of living for its 26 percent millennial population. The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment was just $2025 in 2014.

Denver’s huge, walkable downtown area is also home to a ton of breweries and pubs, so you and your friends will never get bored on the weekends.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

A perfect city for recent grads, Minneapolis boasts an incredibly low cost of living for the 31 percent of residents that are millennials, with a median rent of only $1,772 for a two-bedroom apartment.

A low unemployment rate of 4.1 percent means you’ll also have a good chance at landing a job with one of the many Fortune 500 companies located in the city, which include Target, Best Buy, General Mills, Land O’Lakes and St. Jude Medical.

Iowa City, Iowa

This one might seem out of place due to its small size, but Iowa City is a college town with a strong economy. The unemployment rate is low, at three percent, and Rosalind Greenstein of the American Institute for Economic Research says that “a growing technology corridor has improved economic opportunity in Iowa City, and low rents, more restaurants and bars, as well as a diverse population, also attract young people.”

The University of Iowa is a major employer, as are Oral B Laboratories, Proctor & Gamble and a host of other big businesses drawn in by the college population.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston has a diverse range of thriving industries for job-seekers — healthcare, social assistance, finance, education and biotech are all big fields in and around the city, which is home to 12 Fortune 500 companies. The unemployment rate in 2014 was only 4.9 percent, and the median income for millennials was $58,040 — which couples great with an average rent of $4,498 for a two-bedroom apartment.

About a third of the Boston population consists of millennials, and there are plenty of bars and restaurants to hang out at after work. Lots of outdoor space — including the oldest public park and the first public beach in the U.S. — walking trails, a concentrated downtown area and comprehensive public transit make finding fun things to do both easy and affordable.

Washington, D.C.

If you’ve never visited the nation’s capital, it has a lot going for it — think free museums, beautiful parks and monuments, and a solid food and bar scene. Residents walk and bike everywhere.

DC is another young city with a millennial population of 29 percent, many of whom are attracted by government jobs on Capitol Hill. Unemployment sits at 4.9 percent, and the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is about $3,287.

Raleigh, N.C.

Raleigh is a part of the Research Triangle of North Carolina, where grads looking for a career in the tech industry will thrive. 26 percent of the population are millennials, unemployment sits at 4.8 percent and the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $2,431.

Raleigh is a smaller city that isn’t quite as hustle-and-bustle as some of the others on this list, and it holds lots of outdoor recreational areas and great entertainment options.

Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore is underrated and affordable — the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is only $1,586! It has a growing millennial population drawn by the vibrant social scene, who often work in the industrious health and science fields.

Excellent nightlife and public transit are a few more reasons why recent grads love Charm City.

Cincinnati, Ohio

A city with a slowly growing population of millennials, Cincinnati has an economy that, along with top employers like Kroger, makes it attractive for recent grads.

Ten percent of Cincy is park land, so the 27 percent millennial population can enjoy plenty of time outdoors. Unemployment in the city is below-average at 4.6 percent, and median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is an affordable $2,138.

No matter where you choose to move after graduation, make sure you do some research. Above all, have fun and make the most of wherever you land your first big job.

sarah landrum head shotAbout the author: Sarah Landrum is a graduate from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR. Now, she’s a freelance writer and career blogger sharing advice on navigating the work world and achieving happiness and success in your career. She’s also a member of the Campus to Career family, serving as a featured contributor on a regular basis. You can find her tweeting during boring speeches @SarahLandrum

 





And the Hits Keep On Comin’…

10 02 2016

photo-1429962714451-bb934ecdc4ec

February 10, 2016. This date might not have much significance to you, but it has great meaning to me. You see, today is my official blogging anniversary. Six years ago, I decided to take a hobby and shape into what you know as Campus to Career. I was sitting in the airport, bound for Singapore to participate in Enactus World Cup (then known as SIFE), an event that brought together real-life world-changers from over 40 countries. I figured it was time to get serious about this or give up altogether. I’m glad I got serious.

I’ve been fortunate to share my point of view on career advice, collaborate with some of the best in the business, and help young people succeed in their careers all over the world. Campus to Career has made several “top career advice” lists and we’ve been humbled by each and every one.

But, here’s the thing: NONE of this would have happened without YOUR support. Seriously. YOU make this little career advice blog such an incredible source of information. There are some particular individuals I’d like to call out with a personal thank you. They are:

Family – Mom, dad, siblings, cousins, my amazing wife…THANK YOU. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without your support, influence and swift kick in the butt from time to time!

Friends – I’m happy to say that there are simply too many to name here, but again, THANK YOU. Your support has meant the world to me.

Teachers – From my kindergarten teacher to my speech & debate coach to a few very special college professors…thanks for helping me find my way.

Mentors – Can I just say all of the above? Whether they’ve been official mentors or unofficial, they’ve been instrumental in my success, guiding me, listening, and offering perspective – in my career and in life.

Peers – Thank you for leading by example. There are millions of career advice experts, bloggers and “gurus” out there. I’ve been very fortunate to connect with many of you over the years and not only is Campus to Career stronger and better because of it, I’m a better person thanks to your openness and support to help make this world a better place. Many of the “hits” mentioned in the title of this post are because we collaborated to provide unique content to Campus to Career readers! (Thank you.)

Hits like these:

Here’s to 6 awesome years of partnership. I’m looking forward to many more!

COMING SOON: A new Campus to Career website design! We’re looking for volunteers to help us design a new logo. Interested? Email your pitch and sample to kirk.baumann@att.net. If selected, we’ll credit you for the work when the new site launches!





12 Top Career & Leadership Experts to Follow in 2016

7 01 2016

c2c 2016Happy New Year!  For me, 2015 got off to a rocky start, but all in all, it was a good year.  Want to make 2016 an awesome year?  Twitter and LinkedIn are amazing resources for personal and professional development.  As a job seeker or someone who simply wants to improve themselves, the right influencers provide excellent advice, insight, best practices, inspiration and motivation to help you achieve your goals. This started out as a top ten list, but I couldn’t leave it at just ten resources.

So, I present to you:

Campus to Career’s 12 Top Career & Leadership Experts to Follow in 2016 (in alpha order):

Brittany Hodak (@BrittanyHodak) Brittany and I go way back…all the way to our humble beginnings in SmallTown, Oklahoma. Okay, that isn’t actually the name of the town (it’s Roland) but you get my point. Brittany is one of the most driven, passionate and gutsy people I know and her career success is a true reflection of her tenacity. She’s the Co-Founder of ZinePak,  blogs for Forbes, has been named to Ad Age’s 40 Under 40 list, and she even swims with sharks.

Doug Conant (@dougconant) You might recognize the name. Doug has been one of my unofficial mentors throughout my career. He’s is one of the most inspirational business professionals I’ve ever met. Oh, and he’s also the former CEO of Campbell Soup Company, leading with head, heart and hands. Read his book, TouchPoints.  I guarantee that you’ll find some excellent tips on how to be a better leader. Doug writes for LinkedIn as an Influencer regularly. Check out his posts here. He wrote a fantastic post recently on his site regarding 2016 Leadership Resolutions. Highly recommended.

Ed Han (@ed_han) Ed shares great content to help you succeed in your career. Personally, I enjoy his LinkedIn #tipoftheday. Ed contributes to Job-Hunt.org, considers himself a job seeker ally and provides good value to your Twitter stream.

Hannah Morgan (@careersherpa) She’s the guide for lifetime career navigation.  I love how Hannah shares so much of her own content, while complementing it with great articles and nuggets from other experts.  It’s the humble gesture that counts!

Jacob Share (@jacobshare) Jacob is a job search expert, professional blogger, creative thinker, and community builder with a sense of humor. He likes to help people. I like that. One of the ways he does that is by compiling incredible one-stop lists like the Top Job Search Articles of 2015 and 1500 Hot Twitter Job Search Feeds. Check ’em out.

Jeff Haden (@jeff_haden)  This guy is awesome.  As a LinkedIn Influencer, he’s providing some amazing advice in ways that we can relate to everyday life.  His posts are fun and very meaningful.  Check him out here.

Meghan Biro (@MeghanMBiro) She’s Founder & CEO of @TalentCulture, Host of #TChat (Wednesdays  7-8pm ET) and a regular contributor to Forbes.  Meghan is always sharing great information and like many on this list, she keeps social media social.  Follow her and tweet hello!

Rich Grant (@RichCareer) Rich is co-host of #CareerServChat, the popular Twitter forum for Career Services professionals.  He has some great articles on his blog and pays it forward, sharing useful content from other experts.

Sarah Landrum (@SarahLandrum) If the name sounds familiar, it may be because Sarah is a featured writer here at Campus to Career. Her articles are fantastic and bring a unique perspective to our readers. Adding her to our small team was one of the best things we did in 2015! Check out Sarah’s 6 Tips on Getting More From LinkedIn. She’s also the Founder of Punched Clocks. You can learn more about Sarah in this fun interview.

Steve Browne (@sbrownehr) Steve is a self-professed HR radical putting the human touch back into Human Resources. This guy GETS IT. Not only is he super-social (go ahead, tweet him), he’s one of the most inclusive, thoughtful people I’ve ever interacted with in my career. He also blogs at Everyday People, managing to find the extraordinary in everyone.

Steve Levy (@levyrecruits) He keeps it real, holding nothing back.  He’s a regular contributor to chats like #InternPro and #jobhuntchat.  Follow him for some of the best, frank career advice you’ve ever received.

YouTern (@YouTern)  Check out the blog, The Savvy Intern, for TONS of great articles to help you succeed.  YouTern and Campus to Career have partnered to bring you the best of both worlds. Look for more good stuff in 2016. BONUS: Follow Mark Babbitt and Dave Ellis.

Me (@kbaumann) (I know…seems selfish…we’ll call it “enlightened self-interest). I’d be honored if you followed me and liked Campus to Career on Facebook.  Research has proven that it’s silly to expect results if you don’t make the request.  So, I’m asking!  Let’s make 2016 awesome together.

There it is, folks.  Campus to Career’s 12 Top Career & Leadership Experts to Follow in 2016.  Well, technically…13. 🙂 When you follow them, take a look at who they follow and interact with.  This list wasn’t a top 100 for a reason.  You know who you want to follow and each person has unique needs and preferences.  Each person on this list is full of knowledge, shares that knowledge with the world and has a mission of helping others succeed.  That’s what we’re all about here at Campus to Career.

That being said….if you could add TWO people to the list, who would it be??  Please leave your recommendations (along with their Twitter username) in the comments below!  As always, thanks for reading.  Best wishes in 2016!

Like posts like this?  Click the “subscribe” button at the top right of your screen to get at least 51 more posts like this throughout the year.  They’re delivered directly to your inbox!





Finding a Military-Friendly Employer

12 11 2015

 

wuZ2o7URf6Rj1gJ6oZxh_327425_616020918991_1349673719_o

Photo credit: Tyler Barnes via Unsplash

Military experience can provide very notable value to prospective employees. Many companies look positively upon the commitment, discipline, adaptability and leadership skills of veterans and military members. Some even offer internal veterans’ programs, often in an initiative to recruit individuals that would promote a positive company culture and a hard-work ethic.

Military-friendly employers are certainly out there, but they aren’t always the easiest to find. When seeking out a military-friendly employer, it’s worth honing in on specific industries and search methods:

Hone in on Military-Friendly Industries

A convenient way of finding many employers who embrace former military personnel is by focusing on industries that traditionally benefit from military-related skills. Some of these industries include:

  • Federal Government – The government is particularly fond of hiring those with military experience, who have already shown a special commitment to representing their country. The federal government shows veterans reverence by offering preference points to military members who were awarded a campaign badge or expeditionary medal, or were injured. Federal employment is often one of the smoothest transitions from military due to some very similar job functions in many federal-level roles, particularly regarding general security and sensitive maintenance.
  • Law Enforcement and Security – Since military service members are very familiar with training methods pertinent to anti-terrorism, force protection and/or security, these skills are often sought out by law enforcement and security businesses, from private security to police departments. Some veteran Web resources provide a great listing of law enforcement and security-related businesses by state, making the search easy and match ideal.
  • Intelligence Training – As intelligence training companies often recruit military, a military member’s experience in conversing regularly with other veterans in addition to being familiar with military-related skills can make them an ideal fit in any intelligence training-related role.

These three industries often provide smooth transitions for military members seeking employment while not serving.

Use Military-Minded Job Sites

There are many websites that provide job listings, but not all of them are tailored toward military members and veterans. There are a handful of trusted and frequently updated sites that do just this, including Robert Half Veteran Jobs, Military Friendly and Forbes’ list of the top 100 military-friendly employers. It’s recommended to browse every one of these on a daily basis if you’re a military member serious about finding a job. Responding promptly to a recently posted job listing is a great way to boost your chances.

Consider Some Large Corporations

Some prominent name brands are well-known for their commitment to employees with military experience, such as Verizon, USAA, Lockheed Martin, Charles Schwab, AT&T, Capital One and JPMorgan Chase. Many of these companies offer medical and life insurance, pay raises, retirement contributions and more benefits for military members. Banking and finances, defense/aerospace and insurance are the top industries for veterans to work for.

Use Google Strategically

While many military members share skillsets, every member has their own unique skillset as well. Job-seekers should ask themselves what makes them unique and include that skill into their Google-based job search.

For a military member, combine your ability with your preferred industry to work in when searching Google. For example, if you’re interested in working in security and can tout experience handling data security for a military branch, use a search query like “security job listing + military data security experience.” Typing that query brings up several useful entries, like relevant Monster listings, a link to U.S. Security Associates’ job page and tips on how to land a cybersecurity job.

Military members have a boatload of skills to offer many employers. Using the tips above can help you wade through probably the most difficult part: finding a military-friendly employer. It just takes a little sleuthing to find the right one.

sarah landrum head shotAbout the author: Sarah Landrum is a graduate from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR. Now, she’s a freelance writer and career blogger sharing advice on navigating the work world and achieving happiness and success in your career. She’s also the newest addition to the Campus to Career family, serving as a featured contributor on a regular basis. You can find her tweeting during boring speeches @SarahLandrum





Translating Military Skills into a Career

10 11 2015

2wu8LKZQfahkG6HMeKf6_14546548685_aea346dd84_o

Photo credit: Jacob Valerio via Unsplash

When you join the armed forces, your whole life shifts. Instead of school, it’s bases and battlefields. Instead of home life, it’s life with your fellow soldiers. Instead of going with the flow, you have to follow a rigorous schedule.

The military may have prepared you for the worst things that can face this country, but has it prepared you for life after your service? Transitioning back to civilian life can be tough — the military wasn’t just your job, it was your life. What happens when you come back?

You might think that the skills you learned during your service won’t transfer easily to employment. Military jargon can easily crowd your head, which creates confusion, as well as a culture gap. Luckily, there are steps you can take to ensure your transition back to civilian employment is a smooth one.

Hmm… What Skills?

Trying to find a job after serving can be truly frustrating. Realizing the skills you gained from the military, however, can help you narrow down your career options and boost your confidence. Here are some common skills that translate easy to the workforce:

  • Leadership: Think about when you had to follow orders. This involved a high degree of honor and responsibility. These are great traits that exemplify leadership. In the military, you probably exhibited excellent planning strategies and intelligence. You could be the next CEO of a major company, like these guys.
  • Flexibility: The military may have rigid regulations, but situations can change at any moment. Regardless of what happens, there must always be a plan of action. Planning ahead and on the spot is a value that is greatly needed in the workforce.
  • Expertise: Were you an airplane mechanic? Did you study weather patterns? Did you work on radar, or operate tanks? No matter what you did in the military, your expertise in that position can easily become a job — especially jobs that require technical prowess.
  • Communication: While this is essential for everyone who enters the workforce, it is extremely important to veterans. Keep in contact with your fellow soldiers. Drop a line to the higher-ups. Attend job fairs and career centers. Sign up for job-hunting websites like LinkedIn. All the contacts you could ever need, both new and old, are a button click away.

De-Jargonize That Resume

Your resume is souped up for the military, but all those military terms might confuse the HR people who will be looking at it. Do a little bit of housekeeping.

Putting “sniper” on a resume won’t necessarily impress your potential employer. It’s best to dissect the little things that made up your duties. No matter what your position was, there has to be some sort of value or expertise you can draw from it.

For instance, if you were a sniper, that involves using a high amount of focus in a high-pressure situation. There’s little room for error, and you must execute your orders with precision.

Sometimes talking to another person about your transition can help. It’s too dangerous to go alone, so why not try the free counseling services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs? There are also transition centers for every branch of the military.

Now Show the World Who’s Boss!

Once you find a career that’s right for you, it’s not the time to slack. The military is based on ranking, but in a civilian career, you must succeed in areas that further the success of the organization.

You won’t encounter shocking differences right away, but subtle changes will become noticeable to you. The way your coworkers communicate, the company’s organizational processes, a looser structure — all of it will take some getting used to. Be patient and positive, and you’ll become adjusted in no time.

When you take the steps to make the transition back into civilian life, you’ll find some bumps along the way. Don’t lose hope — your service is greatly appreciated, and your amazing contributions to society will be as well!

sarah landrum head shotAbout the author: Sarah Landrum is a graduate from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR. Now, she’s a freelance writer and career blogger sharing advice on navigating the work world and achieving happiness and success in your career. She’s also the newest addition to the Campus to Career family, serving as a featured contributor on a regular basis. You can find her tweeting during boring speeches @SarahLandrum





6 Tips for Getting More from LinkedIn

22 09 2015

photo-1441015401724-70d16b783f5c

You already know that each social network has its own purpose. However, most of them revolve around sharing updates about your life or business while connecting with those that might be difficult to connect with in the real world.

LinkedIn is a little different. Designed almost as an online résumé, the network is intended to create and strengthen connections on a professional level. Great for networking, job searching and self-promotion, LinkedIn provides an excellent way to put yourself out there while accomplishing some personal branding.

But, how do you make it happen? How do you get the most from LinkedIn? Check out a few of the tips below to get started.

Craft Your Profile Carefully and Completely

Remember, unlike Facebook, where profiles are fixed and forgotten, LinkedIn profiles are designed to promote what you have to offer to potential professional connections and even employers. To build the perfect LinkedIn profile, fill in all fields. 100% completion is important, including:

  • A summary that sheds light on your abilities and personality
  • Education
  • Work experience with what you did and how you improved each previous position
  • An actionable headline
  • Recommendations — Ask those you’ve worked with before to support you: the more positive recommendations, the better.
  • Contact information
  • Links to any websites you manage or keep personal portfolios on

Be sure to update your profile on a regular basis and to keep the notifications turned on so your contacts are able to see your accomplishments and promotions.

Think About Your Purpose

Why are you on LinkedIn? What are you hoping to accomplish? Is networking your top priority? Would you like to recruit others for a position? Are you on the market for a new position within a specific company?

If so, you should tailor your profile and your connections to that end. It might be tempting to share poignant articles relating to subjects that matter to you, or to post a photo or two from an office event, but if it doesn’t serve your purpose it’s not worth it. Save it for another network.

Start Conversations

Being a wallflower doesn’t work in real life. It also doesn’t work on LinkedIn. Instead, reaching out and starting conversations puts you on others’ radars. Be intentional. Ways to start conversations include:

  • Simple private messages — Reach out, introduce yourself and ask questions. Better yet, ask if your new connection would like to connect in real life for a five-minute conversation just to get to know one another.
  • Joining communities — LinkedIn communities allow you to connect with like-minded professionals who share specific interests. Join the groups, respond to existing conversations and start new ones. Make yourself known.
  • Starting groups — Looking to connect with others on your own terms? Start a group that focuses on your professional interest. Be sure to check in frequently to moderate and start new conversations.

Focus on Results

Résumés are limited in their effectiveness due to space constraints. With only a page or two to work with, you can’t share all that you have to offer. Instead of the standard “these were my duties in my last position” format that does nothing but bore readers, focus on your accomplishments.

How did you improve the bottom line in a previous position? What were the results of specific projects? What numbers speak to what you’ve done? Rob Mericle, President of his own Real Estate company, does an excellent job of this as by focusing on numbers in his summary.

Monitor Your Effectiveness

Even if you’re posting content that is applicable to those in your network, well-written and engaging, it could be falling short. You’ll never know if you never track it. Use LinkedIn Analytics to track who’s viewed your profile, who’s viewed your content and how what you share ranks against what others share. Modify your posts to increase your rankings on a regular basis.

Don’t Just Say It, Show It

LinkedIn made it easier than ever for users to “show” rather than “tell” their stories, which allows for deeper connections. With the ability to upload multimedia formats, LinkedIn users can share photos, videos and presentations with others. There’s no better way to showcase work than to bring it to life visually.

By using the tips above, you can take your LinkedIn efforts from stagnant to dynamic in no time. Make the most of what you have to offer and showcase your talents in a way that makes others want to connect with you. What are you waiting for?

sarah landrum head shotAbout the author: Sarah Landrum recently graduated from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR. Now, she’s a freelance writer and career blogger sharing advice on navigating the work world and achieving happiness and success in your career. She’s also the newest addition to the Campus to Career family, serving as a featured contributor on a regular basis. You can find her tweeting during boring speeches @SarahLandrum