Helping Gonzaga University Students and Alumni Clarify and Achieve Their Academic and Professional Goals

Tag: LinkedIn and Job Search

Step Four: Grow Your Network

Now, it’s time to take your professional brand to the street, (so to speak) and start growing your network.  Many students are lost when trying to conceptualize the formation of a professional network.    In all honesty, it’s pretty simple.  Think of an onion with an immediate core of friends and family.   (Yes, you can connect to your parents on LinkedIn!)  After that, start connecting to recent alumni of Gonzaga.

  • Join LinkedIn groups for your alumni and the industry you’d like to work in.  Here are some “Zag Only” groups I’d recommend: Gonzaga Alumni Association, Gonzaga Career Center, Gonzaga University.
  • Request introductions from your connections to grow your network, gain advice, and open doors to new opportunities.
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Step Three: Who do You Want to Be?

Ah, the aged old dilemma: What do you want to be when you grow up?   You find yourself searching on job boards all around the internet with little to no luck.  Sometimes, adding a bit of focus will amp up your search by narrowing down types of industry or field you want to work in.

Through groups and professional networking, LinkedIn can give solid guidances for “next steps” in your career.

  • Search LinkedIn to learn about career paths, industries, and geographic locations
  • Engage with industry groups to keep up on hot topics and trends
  • Visit company pages and follow companies to see who’s coming and going
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Step Two: Discover Your Brand

Are any of these logos familiar to you?  They should be. These logos represent the brands of some of the world’s most recognized companies.   Time and energy has been spent to develop brands to highest potential while maintaining quality repuation.  What, does this have to do with your job search?  In one word: everything.

If you are a recent graduate, your time at Gonzaga and tuition expenses is your investment in your potential brand as a potential professional.  Now, it’s time to sell that personal brand to the world!

The highlighted video from LinkedIn today discusses branding yourself as a professional on LinkedIn. From your profile photo to an appropriate headline, this video will guide you step-by-step to bringing out your brand.

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Not quite sure where to start?  The Career Center staff is happy to help during the summer! Send us an e-mail at

Social Media and YOUR Job Search

Let’s face it, love it or hate it social media is here to stay.  Information is being shared faster and at higher volumes than ever before.  For any and all job seekers, this sharing of information can be slightly intimating (to say the least). Where then in the vast open space of the internet, should job seekers start?

My personal recommendation:  LinkedIn.  Many Gonzaga students have heard me on my soapbox for months about the literal power of the professional networking capabilities of LinkedIn.  I remember teaching a “How-to” seminar in January with an on-campus business fraternity.  Months later, I would ask the students who participated in the seminar how their profile looks.  They would look at me sheepishly and say,”Not great…”

Now, I have to wonder: where is the disconnect? What is preventing students from becoming more involved with LinkedIn?

For that, I have a simple answer: Honey vs. Molasses.

In the world of social media networking, Facebook is quick and easy.  Students have become accustomed to gaining new “friends” quickly and fluidly.  (Yes, similar to pouring honey.)  LinkedIn however, takes a little bit more time.  Relationships and contacts have to be researched and cultivated.  “Adding” contacts takes patience and time.  (Both typically are lacking when in the midst of a job search.)

To up the ante I thought I would share three major facts to drive home my point that LinkedIn is your social media answer for job seekers;

  1. As of April 10, there was approx 65 million users on LinkedIn.
  2. In a December 2009 survey of 1,200 hiring and recruitment managers, 79% of those surveyed reviewed online information about job applicants.   70% said they rejected candidates based on what they found. (For the full PDF and presentation, check it out here: “Online Reputation in a Connected World
  3. In a Google search, the LinkedIn profile will be highlighted in the top 3 search results.

LinkedIn has great training resources in their training center to get new users started.  We will feature the videos once a day to break apart the intimating LinkedIn dragon.

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Happy networking!