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Help! My College Doesn’t Have a Career Center!

It is the stuff of a career horror tale.  You attend a small college without a career center.  Employers do not visit your campus to recruit.  It is mid-October, and you graduate in May with a substantial amount of student loan debt.  Do not fear! This tale of woe is not insurmountable.  The web is full of career technology that can act as a career center surrogate.   This week we will cover LinkedIn, your online presence, and resume development & optimization using web technology that is readily available.

LinkedIn & Online Presence

Have you ever wanted a particular product or service and began your search online?  How many times did you end up at a business that did not have a web presence?  My guess is, not often.

For employers seeking talent, you are a product.  Thus, it is crucial that you exist online and appear professional.  Employers often “google” candidates online when they are making their final hiring decisions.   Consider the following the following steps toward building your online image.

  1. Create a LinkedIn account.   Start with their New User Guide and LinkedIn guide for students.  These resources will get your started on setting up your profile.  You may also want to invest in a “how to” book like Graduate to LinkedIn: Jumpstart Your Career Network Now.
  2. Clean up and lock down your social media accounts like Facebook.  You don’t want employers to formulate any negative notions about your character.  You want to be seen as a professional who has a career direction and would be an asset to a hiring organization.
  3. If you have been a bit fast and loose about your online activities, you may want to sign up for SocioClean and start cleaning up your online presence.
  4. Google yourself.  What do you find?  Is it damaging?  Does the “bad press” for someone else show up in the search?  You may want to check into the products that reputation.com has to offer.  In addition, you should probably set up a Google alert on your name that will inform you when you are being searched.

Resume Preparation & Optimization

Once you complete your LinkedIn profile and feel confident that it represents you, download it.   Just click on Profile in the top menu.  Next , click View Profile  and, in the Edit dropdown, select Export to PDF.   Once you have downloaded the resume, you are ready to polish it for use.

There are two tools on the web that make working with resumes enjoyable.  The first tool is RezScore which is a virtual resume grader.  Simply take the pdf resume download file from LinkedIn and upload it into RezScore, click the Get your RezScore button and receive a resume grade and feedback on your resume’s strengths.  This will give you an idea of whether your resume needs additional work.

Once you have scored your resume, you may want to visit Resunate.  Resunate is an online resume tool that uses semantic technology to help you optimize your resume against job descriptions.   It will help you see how well your resume matches a certain job and assist you in arranging the information so that it works best for that job.

Hopefully this has given you enough information to get started online.  Next week, we will cover the job hunt, networking, and interview preparation.

Good luck!

Author

As Associate Director of Employer Experience for Wake Forest University, Lisa’s passion is connecting employers with student talent and creating a positive experience for both. She leads a university-wide Employer Experience team which is responsible for all aspects of recruiting, retention, and systems for the graduate business school.  Her strengths include relationship management, networking, social media engagement, information aggregation, process facilitation and communication. Lisa has been employed at Wake Forest since the fall of 2002.  She has over 20 years of work experience in various roles.  Prior to arriving at Wake Forest, she was an entrepreneur, venturing into web-based international sales and marketing of salvage automotive parts and accessories.  Before that, she was a trust officer in the Employee Benefit Trust area of Wachovia Bank.  Lisa is also a veteran of the United States Air Force. Lisa earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Rollins College and a Masters in Liberal Arts from Wake Forest.  Visit Lisa’s blog, follow her on Twitter, or connect via LinkedIn.

Related posts:

  1. Maximize your career center experience
  2. Four Services Your School’s Career Center (Probably) Offers
  3. Career Lessons from College Homecoming

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