This Thing Called #Twitter (and other social media, too)

Confessions of a Young Professional

No, your eyes are not deceiving you; I am posting so soon after my last blog because I am now officially addicted to blogging. In other news, I have also began the process of mastering Twitter

If you have been following/reading my past few posts you know that I have been struggling to get an internship for this upcoming summer. As such I have been motivated to hunker down and send out applications, a mundane process to say the least. That is until I happened upon an application that wanted me to compose an interesting tweet. And I’ve never been the same (just kidding). So in order to increase my chances of getting noticed, not only did I put my tweet in the application, yet I tweeted it directly to the company. And mere hours later, I was retweeted and asked for an interview! Not only was this exciting…

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The 5 W’s of LinkedIn Keywords

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The 5 W’s of LinkedIn Keywords

By Donna Van Derveer


YOU, of course. When others view your LinkedIn profile, a box displaying your profile highlights fills the screen. This is your chance to make a good impression. Therefore, the information in your profile should be complete, current and optimized by using keywords.


A keyword is a tool for scanning large volumes of information quickly to identify specific data to target. Recruiters use these keywords to search for viable job candidates. When a recruiter searches by a certain keyword, LinkedIn analyzes every profile to find that matching word.Therefore, using keywords is an absolute necessity if you want to pop up in search results.


You should start implementing keywords into your social media platform as soon as possible. Include strategic keywords when you first create your LinkedIn profile and update them as your experience and qualifications change. You…

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What Does Your LinkedIn Profile Picture Say About You?

By Donna Van Derveer


Did you know LinkedIn profiles with pictures attract 50-70 percent more inquiries than profiles without pictures? And, according to Forbes, LinkedIn profiles with photos are seven times more likely to be clicked on than profiles without photos. If you’re on LinkedIn to get noticed and make professional connections, a quality professional photo is a must. You can get the most out of your LinkedIn profile by following simple picture guidelines.

 Keep it Professional: LinkedIn is NOT Facebook

  • Your photo should be a clear, close, front-facing shot where you look friendly and attentive.
  • Photos should be current as there are few things worse than meeting someone for the first time and not recognizing them because the profile photo is from 10 years ago (or longer)! If you are concerned about age discrimination, ask the photographer to capture your more youthful…

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Why Should I be on LinkedIn? Part II

By Donna Van Derveer


Join groups
Joining groups on LinkedIn helps you stay in touch with former or current organizations, find people with similar interests, and participate in a professional online community. Being a part of a group extends your network, increases profile visibility, and promotes your brand. You can also stay in touch with alumni and past colleagues.

It’s who you know: Network, Network, Network
Do not wait until you graduate to begin networking. By making early connections with professors, classmates and alumni, you can start to build a network that will prove valuable both during and after college. Students often meet professionals at networking events and are asked to contact them after graduation. With LinkedIn you can request a connection to ensure they remember you and stay in touch.
Prepare for internship or job interviews
In an interview, you are…

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Why Should I be on LinkedIn? Part I

By Donna Van Derveer


There are currently 200 million LinkedIn members in 200 countries and territories worldwide. According to a 2011 USA Today survey, only 35 percent of those members are college students. Many college students assume LinkedIn is only useful while in the workforce.  However, if you are still relying on old fashioned job search approaches, you are missing a chance to connect with employers around the world.
Students should not wait until graduation to reap the benefits of LinkedIn but should consider joining LinkedIn during their junior and senior years.  This popular networking site provides an opportunity to excel beyond the competition and break the invisible wall between you and future employers. Still not convinced? Take a look at these benefits of being a member on LinkedIn.
Introduce yourself to the professional world
LinkedIn profiles consist of sections that allow…

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Internships: A Continuous Loop of Learning


By Ashley Widtfeldt


For Elyse Jardine, the internship experience has been what she considers a continuous loop of learning. She applies what she learns in class to her internship and then what she learns in her internship to her classes, creating this expanding circle of knowledge. “It increases the information I learn at least ten fold,” she stated.

Elyse is studying Public Administration with a concentration in International Development. This made her internship with the World Affairs Council of Montana a perfect match for her academic interests. Her main role at the World Affairs Council of Montana is to plan Academic World Quest, a competition between Montana High School Students that showcases their knowledge concerning our nation’s six top national security issues.

This has been Elyse’s first big experience in the nonprofit field and she has made connections throughout Montana as well as in the International Community that will be invaluable to her future job search. Also through this internship, she can now include things like public relations, event planning, and member development to her resume. Not to mention the $120,000 grant she co-wrote with her supervisor, a feat that’s sure to impress any future employer. “My resume now is massive and I feel like I’m marketable as a person to do all these different things,” claims Elyse.

Elyse would “hands down” recommend every student seek out an internship experience. She believes that it is the best way to learn how to apply what has been learned in the classroom and also adapt to new scenarios that might not be the textbook case: “Sometimes what you get in class is the ideal book version and that’s not always how it happens in the real world.”