If you have been around the School of Public Health lately, or have subscribed to the weekly updates from Career Services, you have likely seen a big push for crafting a professional-grade LinkedIn profile. This is truly a sign of the times! Over the past 12 years, I have worked in seven different states across the U.S. (To see a map of these states, check out my MPH portfolio.)
This has given me a unique perspective on career development, as each region—and even each state—has a different culture surrounding employment practices. These differences can often be attributed to legislation, specific industries in the area, or social and cultural norms. But one variable has been trending up in all of these places: LinkedIn.
Prior to moving to Bloomington for the Master of Public Health program here in the School of Public Health, I was living 2,000 miles away in Pasadena, California. While on the job hunt there, I consulted with several different employment agencies/recruiters and they all stressed the importance of having a LinkedIn profile. Some didn’t even ask for a resume, as many companies on the West Coast recruit solely through LinkedIn!
Now, I’m not saying that the resume is dead and that you shouldn’t put time into writing one, but your LinkedIn profile is essentially a living resume. One benefit of keeping your LinkedIn profile up-to-date is that when you need to update a hard copy resume, you already have all of the information you need.
As finals wind down, reflect back on this semester and this calendar year, and think of all of the wonderful things you have accomplished. Did you learn about a topic that inspired you? Create a presentation that you’re proud of? Or maybe learn a new software? Add these to your LinkedIn, connect with your classmates, endorse each other, and you’ll soon reap the benefits while on the job front.
Derek Herrmann is a second-year Master of Public Health student with a concentration in physical activity and also a visiting research associate at Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands. He studies the role of the built environment in active living, with additional interests in parks and recreation and arts and cultural development.