by Mary Beth Barnes, Assistant Director, Career Services

As your student begins his or her journey as a first year student at Miami, it is important your student stays engaged in career exploration and explores many opportunities to learn about potential career pathways that match his or her interests. One successful approach to your student’s career development involves building relationships. Your student has, and will continue to build and foster a network of professional relationships. As you may know, it takes time to build a solid network and can at times feel overwhelming, especially as students are beginning their collegiate career.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 87 percent of graduating seniors used the social networking site LinkedIn in their job search. LinkedIn is the leading professional network on the web and one of the ways in which your students can connect with the Miami University Career Community. We are happy to report that Miamians have an impressive presence on LinkedIn. There are more than 113,000 Miami alumni, students, and contacts represented on the site. By using the LinkedIn Alumni Tool Miami students can find Miami alumni in the industries and geographical areas that they are most interested in. Students can even go so far as to search by major, by year of graduation, degree, name of employer and skill.

Many students have had great success networking with Miami alumni through LinkedIn. In fact, we often encourage students to reach out to alumni through LinkedIn for informational interviews so that they can learn more about the various career paths our alumni pursue. It is important students learn the proper etiquette for using LinkedIn as a networking tool and use it to grow their network throughout college.

Career Services offers many workshops and opportunities to help students build their LinkedIn profiles and learn about the best ways to engage and outreach on the site. Students can check out the Career Services website for times and locations of our LinkedIn 101 workshops. Additionally our website lists the times students can drop-in and visit with a Career Assistant to have a profile review. Free LinkedIn headshots are available weekly at the Armstrong Student Center and will also be available at the Fall Career Fair on September 16th.