Students get ‘LinkedIn’ to job-finding tool

Graduation day is coming! Whether it is in the coming weeks or the next few years, graduation is the end of one journey and the beginning of the next – your career search.

While most students use the tried-and-true tools like the local newspaper and online job sites, many do not know about the power of the social media platform LinkedIn. 

LinkedIn can be described as Facebook grew up a little and put a suit on.

MATC is hoping to give students the tools to make LinkedIn a part of their job search and career tool kit.

On March 21, MATC invited author Wayne Breitbarth from Power Formula, LLC to the West Allis campus to give students his “power formula” for leveraging the power of LinkedIn to reach career goals. 

Breitbarth has dedicated an entire book and website to the subject of LinkedIn success, which also doubles as the book’s title. Breitbarth explained, “Friends are for Facebook. On LinkedIn, we call them connections.” He illustrated the many distinctions between LinkedIn and Facebook so that students could grasp the advantages in the platforms’ differences.

The connections that students make on LinkedIn have the potential to link students to internships, groups and maybe even a career.  Breitbarth said, “Connections are the gas in your LinkedIn tank. The more relationships, the farther you will go.” Students can use LinkedIn to establish themselves as a professional in their desired career field.

The challenge that most students have after graduation is not having the relevant job experience.  LinkedIn has power tools that can help overcome the entry-level conundrum. 

The platform offers groups based on specific industries and jobs that students can join and begin to make “connections” for internships, industry news and events. Many students have found success by making their LinkedIn profile a visual résumé  and portfolio, showcasing their résumé  along with career-related class assignments and projects.

LinkedIn also has tools for giving and receiving endorsements that acknowledge a skillset or attribute. Students can start their profile by connecting to classmates, instructors and current co-workers.

Those connections will help to establish them and also introduce them to other people in their field with whom they can connect.

Breitbarth advised students to thoroughly complete their profile with any experience, both paid and unpaid, and to use their profile to tell their story. “You’ve got to have better stories than your competition,” he explained.

So putting LinkedIn in your professional tool kit can certainly enhance your chances of connecting to the right people who may just be the link to your career.