Career, Higher Education, Learning Technologies, Social Media

Using LinkedIn with First Year Students #UGST1000

For many of my career and employment friends in higher education, LinkedIn is often a great professional networking website that many students explore later in their academic careers. Since “career development” is a process, a couple of instructor from UNT thought it might be helpful to expose our first year students to this learning network earlier in their degree programs.

Image c/o Melissa Venable’s Blog

This fall term, at least one section of the UGST 1000 – First Year Seminar will be using LinkedIn to help explore major and career options. This small seminar class is part of a learning community, where these same students are also classmates in two larger business classes: ECON 1100 – Microeconomics and BUSI 1340 – Managing the Business Enterprise. This UGST 1000 instructors (Allyson & Roxanne) thought using LinkedIn as a social networking website might provide more help for this group of undecided/undeclared students as  they research career/occupation options, understand the skills needed in the business industry, and connect to helpful ideas while exploring their majors in the first semester.

Here is the information about LinkedIn for the UGST 1000 class syllabus:

About LinkedIn: We are using LinkedIn as it is an important form of social media for business professionals. LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with 161 million members in over 200 countries and territories.  Additionally, LinkedIn counts executives from all 2011 Fortune 500 companies as members and its corporate hiring solutions are used by 82 of the Fortune 100 companies.  Basic LinkedIn accounts are free and can be created by visiting www.linkedin.com. By default, all information on your LinkedIn account will be public.  All information on our group’s page will be set to private; only members in our group will be able to read them. 

Here are some ideas of HOW students will use LinkedIn over the course of the term:

  • Build a Professional Student LinkedIn Profile – complete with a photo, information headline, listing educational/work experience, identify specialties, and establish a unique URL
  • Understanding the Value of Their Network for Learning & Experience – ability review their current network and identify how they want to grow their personal/professional connections on campus, online and within industries of interest to help support effective major/career decision-making.
  • Job Search – aware of the current job markets and trends in LinkedIn vs. how they compare to the O*NET and US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Groups and Associations – Connect to a variety of LinkedIn Groups and associations related to their potential major/career interests.
  • References – Collect LinkedIn recommendations from previous instructors, employers or affiliations.
  • Understand LinkedIn Netiquette – updating your profile, posting appropriate status updates, acceptable ways to connect with others, asking for introductions, understanding what groups to join
  • Get Social – Connect any social outlets where they include professional work artifacts, thoughtful blog posts, personal or work websites, or avenues potential employers might like to see.
  • Group Discussions in LinkedIn Groups – private group discussion where students will lead the topic with an article, resource and question for their peers to respond.
  • Roadtrip Nation Group Project – outreach to professionals and companies to interview for the RTN project.
  • Major/Career Research Paper – informational interviews are part of this final paper assignment so LinkedIn will be able to provide students with potential interview contacts

We are currently collecting helpful links, articles, and information about LinkedIn use for learning and networking HERE, and we would LOVE to add MORE resources to our list. Please leave a comment and share your thoughts below. Thanks!

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