Professor incorporating LinkedIn to help students get connected

Dr. Kay Colley, Associate Professor of Mass Communications

When it's time to start thinking about life after college, any student will tell you that a little résumé and networking advice can go a long way.

This semester, Dr. Kay Colley is incorporating that career-building wisdom into her upper-level communication classes by getting her students connected to LinkedIn.

Toward the end of the courses, Colley plans to teach her students to use the website as tool to manage their résumés, build their professional networks and search for jobs.

"A lot of my students haven't created a LinkedIn account by the time I get them, and they don't understand how it works, what to do with it or how it can help them," said Colley. "They need this."

Robyn Bone, director of career services, agrees.

"If they’re looking to be more than just another applicant," said Bone, "this is a great way to get in the door and make that connection."

Making Students Marketable

When it comes to building digital skills, Colley doesn't stop at LinkedIn. In her social media class this semester, she had her students become certified in HootSuite, a Web application that allows you to manage social networks like Facebook and Twitter all in one place.

She encountered some resistance to the assignment in the beginning, but she knows her students will benefit from it when it's time to find a job.

"They were concerned about it being an easy test," said Colley, "and it's not an easy test - it's a certification, but will make you more marketable."


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