5 tips on how to land your dream job with LinkedIn

As a soon-to-be college graduate, all I can seem to think about is how to start a career after graduation. I’ve asked several alumni and other professionals the best way of going about landing that dream job and everyone has the same answer: networking. It’s all about who you know. And the majority of these people agree that one of the best new ways to connect is LinkedIn. It’s where recruiters and employers are searching for you, not the other way around. It is where people can look at who you are professionally without the need for physical contact or a resume.  As a college student, a LinkedIn account is crucial and every student should have one. This may sound like a generalization but in today’s digitally social world, almost every profession has HR or recruiters on LinkedIn that are waiting to help you land that dream job.

Make sure your profile is complete. The more you put in your profile, the more an employer is likely to find you. LinkedIn uses keywords so that when someone searches for a specific skill, education or previous experience, people with more applicable information will be at the top of the list. List as many special skills as possible that apply to you. Be descriptive in your previous work experiences section. When LinkedIn prompts you to complete a section at the top of your profile, do it until you get the All-Star profile rating.

Update your information frequently. Think of your profile as an active resume. Every time you do something worthy of a resume, or maybe something that doesn’t quite make the cut for an extensive resume but is something employers might want to know, add it. Make your skills and experience marketable. In college, you will get the opportunity to have a lot of resume-building experiences. Take advantage of them and let employers know what you did.

Get solid recommendations. You don’t want to have a recommendation from someone down the hall that thinks you are a good guy. This is a professional digital document. But if you had a job or volunteered, ask the most credible person to write you a recommendation or endorse your skills. At SUNY Oswego, you have the chance to work with professors that have done some amazing things and even the chance to work with extremely successful alumni. Take advantage of them! Most would be more than happy to write on your behalf. The same goes for your boss at an internship. Don’t be afraid to ask if it will help you get to where you want to be after graduation.

Branch out. Some people argue that you should make as many connections as possible. Some people say to connect with only people you know. I think it should be a combination of the two. Connect with as many people with value as you can. Connect to reputable people that you would not be afraid to talk to in person. LinkedIn has a feature where your connections can “introduce” you to their connections. If you can connect with someone that knows a lot of people in your field, make sure you take advantage of that and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

Put your LinkedIn profile link on your resume. This is a chance for employers to get an even better idea of who you are. It will lead them to those great recommendations and all the information you want them to see that you can’t fit into your resume or elevator pitch.

Award-winning Equestrian Club

My last blog post was about trying something new or something you love when you get to college, so for the rest of the semester I plan on writing about new and interesting clubs and activities every student should try or at least know about. One thing I’ve noticed from several incoming students is an interest in equestrian, or for those unfamiliar with the sport, horseback riding. SUNY Oswego happens to have an equestrian club that gives students of all skill levels the chance to take lesson and compete. I had the chance to sit down with the Equestrian Club’s treasurer Elena Sanchez Freeman to talk about all the great things the Equestrian team has been up to and how to get involved.

What awards have you won recently?

As a team, we were regional champions against Cazenovia, Syracuse, Geneseo for Western riding. And then regionals, we had team makers also make it individually. In semifinals our team got third place, and the top three teams make it nationals. So as a team we made it to nationals!

I know there are two different kinds of riding. What are they?

There’s Western and English. Western, to put it simply, is with what most people call a cowboy saddle with the horn in front. English is the one with the jockey saddle. And so, there’s different terminology for each one. English is for when you’re doing flat competition, or just like a walk, jog, or canter (trot).

How much experience do you need to join?

You don’t need any experience. We’ve had beginners that have never sat on a horse before who have made it all the nationals individually. We will work with anyone. It’s not gender specific either. There are boys on the team too.

What’s the format for practices and lessons?

The lessons are paid per semester. It’s how much you pay for and you can take as many or as few lessons as you want. They normally cost about $25 a lesson and are anywhere from a half hour to an hour which is a really good deal considering how much lessons normally cost. It’s cheaper because we are a club funded through S.A. You normally have to block off two hours of your day to make it to the barn and we carpool so you don’t have to worry about getting to the barn and back. The barn is in Scriba so it’s about a ten minute drive off campus. We do offer jumping for the English and reigning for Western if you are at that level.

Any cool places you go to?

Oh yeah.  One of the big trips at the beginning of the fall semester is Congress, which is one of the biggest horse shows in the country that’s in Ohio. We carpooled down there as a team. If you help fundraise you barely have to pay for anything. A lot of people didn’t have to pay for anything except meals when we got down there. We have a formal at the end of second semester, we’ve gone laser tagging and everyone is welcome to come to the shows even if they aren’t riding. We always need the help.

Anything else?

It’s a lot of fun and we’re growing. And for anyone who doesn’t want to compete, you don’t have to show if you don’t want to. Some people just want to ride. A lot of people ride at home and miss it so they just come to take lessons and are part of the club. We’re a big family.

For anyone interested in joining the Equestrian Club or for more information, feel free to email oset@oswego.edu.

It’s YOUR College Experience

Seeing as this is my first blog post for SUNY Oswego, I wanted to start with an introduction of myself and my time at Oswego. So hello! My name is Ryan Sperry and I am a senior public relations major with a concentration in marketing. I’ve been involved a lot on campus. I was a DJ at WNYO 88.9 FM, president of the Oswego State Singers select vocal ensemble and captain and player for broomball, volleyball, softball and a few other intramural sports. As a PR major, I’ve also been involved in Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and have interned for the Compass and the Public Affairs Office. I have also spent the last two years working as a resident mentor in Johnson Hall working with first year students. I even danced a little with Del Sarte Dance Club. The list goes on and on. I’ve always been the kind of person to seek out new opportunities and experiences. Which brings me to my next point.

At SUNY Oswego, YOU define your college experience. There is so much to do here, enough where you will graduate and no matter how hard you try, you’ll only touch the surface. So how do you choose? When I got here two years ago, I was overwhelmed by how much there was. There are hundreds of choices and if you don’t like any of them, you can create your own club or set up your own pick-up games or whatever it is you want to do. Since I’ve gotten here, I watched one of my friends start Cut the Craft and a few other friends start the fishing club and badminton club. They have everything here! So how do you figure out what you want to do to have the best experience?  I have three tips.

1. Do something you love.

Find something you loved to do for fun at home. Or maybe even something you liked to do in gym class like flag football or going to open skate every day. It’s great if you love your major and the work you do, but find something outside of academics. You need some type of stress relief and what better way to get rid of stress than doing something you love and can completely immerse yourself in. You’ll probably find people with common interests and end up making your best friends there.

2. Do something you need.

In this world, just a college degree is not going to get you far, especially if you want that awesome dream job working for that high profile company that requires years of experience for even entry level employees. So find something that you need for that job. It doesn’t have to be miserable either, especially if you love what you are doing. Find an internship on-campus.  Join a club that coincides with your major or prospective industry. Do some community service. The more you can put on your resume that proves you’re responsible and passionate about what you do, the better your chance will be of finding a job after graduation.

3. Do something new.

One of the best things about college is being surrounded by new opportunities. The possibilities are endless. So reach out of your comfort zone and find something that interests you. Play broomball, learn how to dance, learn capoeira, get a personal trainer, take music lessons…do something! Even if you don’t like it, just move on to the next thing. At least you’ll realize something about yourself and other people. Who knows, the next time you try something new could completely change your life.