The Back to School LinkedIn Challenge (Phase II)

The feedback about Phase I of the Back to School LinkedIn Challenge has been great! Several students emailed me, connected me with LinkedIn or even tweeted me that their LinkedIn profile was at 85%. That’s superb! Please remember that your online presence is not just quantity, but also quality. Take the time to write a great summary section and add details about tasks and accomplishments under all of your work experiences, volunteer positions, and student involvement.

Phase II (Week II)

1. Join at least 5 groups to extend your network. Here are some ideas:

  • Join your school’s alumni page – even if you’re still a student. Why? Because this will enable you toconnect with alumni, which will be very important in Phase III of the challenge.
  • Join groups in your field of study. Are you studying environmental engineering? Join the Green group.
  • Join groups that you belong to professionally. Are you  a member of PRSA? IEEE?
  • Join a group or two just for fun. Do you have an interesting hobby? Join something that will show others your interests.

2. Update your “Specialties” section to include your skills, talents, and interests.

Take the time to skillfully add keywords in your industry.

3. Start building your network by inviting people to connect with you that you know well. A few things to remember:

  • Always personalize your invitation. Although LinkedIn automatically inserts, “‘I’d like to add you to my professional network on Linked In,” you should always, always, write your own invitation telling the person why you would like to connect.
  • Keep it short and simple. No need to write a book, but do be sincere and genuine.
  • At this point, connect with people you know such as former and present colleagues, classmates, and friends.
  • Make an effort to add at least 15 people over the next week.

4. Update your status.

Make an effort to this every few days or even daily, however, Linked In is not facebook. Keep it professional. Feel free to add, “I’m taking the Back to School Linked In Challenge and so should you!”  (With a link to the Student Branding Blog, of course.)

Done? Congratulations! You’ve completed Phase II! Don’t forget to connect with me so I can give you feedback on your Linked In profile!

Phase III will be posted next Friday, August 13th, 2010.


Claudine is a Career Services Consultant for the Center for Career Opportunities (CCO) at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.  Among other things, Claudine provides career and major counseling to students and alumni, assists employers with achieving their recruitment goals at Purdue, and dabbles in the use of social media to engage students. You can connect with Claudine on twitter or LinkedIn.

Related posts:

  1. The Back to School LinkedIn Challenge Phase III
  2. Finish the Back to School LinkedIn Challenge
  3. Take the Back to School LinkedIn Challenge

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