Tag: business careers

LinkedIn logo

LinkedIn released its latest iteration for both iPhone and Android in April: the LinkedIn Students app, geared specifically toward soon-to-be graduates looking for jobs and internships.

The app leverages LinkedIn’s database of over 400 million professionals. “The brand new app helps you discover jobs that are a best fit for graduates with your major, companies that tend to hire from your school and the careers paths of recent alumni with similar degrees,” a LinkedIn spokesman said when unveiling the product.

I preface this critique by detailing that I use my LinkedIn a ton. But it is far from perfect. And while I would say that one opinion normally does not matter , in this case, I am the target market. So my opinion does matter.

I have been looking for a solution like this for a while. I, personally, have tried to attack this problem in the past — bringing in VCs to my school and connecting students with jobs in the area — but it is not easy.

So I have been looking for a platform to help other students join the conversation.

So here is how my test run of the LinkedIn Students app went (not the best):

You enter the app and it prompts you with “5 ideas” to get your career exploration started.

These custom ideas are populated by the information you provide LinkedIn.

Opening screen of the LinkedIn Students app

Screenshot of the LinkedIn Students app.

The app gives you a chance to confirm this information before you begin your search. However, the credentials are extremely baseline: school and major. (***Does not support a double major).

From there , the app populates news, alumni (who are not really alumni, but rather classmates), and job postings (pretty generic ones).

5 ideas to find your future career? Generically?

Is that enough ?

The simple answer is no. This attempt by LinkedIn fails to help students because it is not serious enough. Finding a job is not “extra-credit.” To find the right job takes time and effort. Job postings are already available to the masses, and LinkedIn’s display of information — using “ideas”— is not customized and lacks depth.

But , I believe that LinkedIn is identifying a serious problem.

There is currently a gap between young talent and jobs. This is an opportunity for technology to merge and create new opportunities. Jobs cannot be offered “conveniently” — you need to make students work and hustle for them. But the industry can be more transparent and welcoming to students , and tech can help bring talent to opportunities.

“Talent is universal, while opportunity is not” — Niko Bonatsos.

This post was originally featured on Medium and was republished with permission from the author.

To be an exceptional job candidate in today’s media-immersed world, personal branding is a must—especially in marketing. Why would a company hire you to develop a brand strategy if you can’t even brand yourself?

Last week, I attended the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference here in St. Louis, and fell into a session led by a panel of marketing experts, who confirmed the above. With graduation just around the corner, their discussion about the job search as a marketing pro especially grabbed my attention.

Check out the top insights from marketing experts at Daugherty, Perficient, and Mizzou’s Journalism School, among others.

1. Brand yourself through social media

Use LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook as an extension of your resume, demonstrating your passion in and knowledge of a particular area.

“LinkedIn is the first thing I look at as a recruiter,” said panelist Jerry Bernhart, of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, who added that a sloppy or neglected page is an immediate turn off for a recruiter. LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool—you wouldn’t, for example, attend a Weston Career Center networking event without copies of your resume or business cards (at least, I hope not). LinkedIn is your digital resume.

Each social platform caters to different audiences and conversations, and you can stand out from your peers by using them correctly.

2. Prove yourself as a strong writer and communicator

As a business student, you need to be able to effectively (and persuasively) communicate with clients and prospective employers. There is an art and subtlety to compelling marketing.

“It’s not about hiding the fact that it is advertising, it’s about being really great at it,” said panelist Brad Best, Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication at Mizzou. “Too often people go tactics first,” he said, when marketers should start by outlining goals, creating a strategy, and then work on the ‘how.’

If you’re interested in content marketing, for example, brand yourself as a knowledgeable source by blogging. Write about which metrics matter in Google’s algorithms for preferential search or how to get the most from a Facebook ad campaign. You’re providing tangible proof of your communication skills, knowledge, and experience, while creating a great digital footprint for yourself.

3. Cultivate technical know-how

As a marketing student, you’re not expected to code apps or build new websites. That said, fundamental knowledge of basics like semantic coding or even graphic design can go a long way for your marketing career. The “jack-of-all-trades” students are “unicorns” for recruiters, said panelist Stuart Draper, of Stukent.com.

The content part of your content marketing strategy may be great, but understanding the behind-the-scenes factors that influence search engine rankings can give your content a boost. “Google is your professor,” said panelist Musonda Kapatamoyo of SIUE. Take a few hours to learn more about HTML or Google Analytics. Proving you are hungry to improve, learn, and add value to a company is a highly attractive quality. Luckily, Olin has provided that resource for students, staff, and faculty for free: Lynda.com.

Obviously, this list focuses on digital marketing and doesn’t address every way a marketing student can get ahead of the competition, but it does highlight some great ways to stand out when applying for marketing positions. What do you think about the panel’s recommendations?

Alumni in the news
Steve Malter with Donna and Mort Fleischer at MorDo Ranch in Phoenix, AZ.

Steve Malter with Donna and Mort Fleischer at MorDo Ranch in Phoenix, AZ.

Steve Malter and I had the privilege of spending a day with an amazing Olin alumnus, Mort Fleischer, BSBA 1958, and his delightful wife Donna.  Mort is an inspiration to me and Olin is very fortunate to count him as one of our own!

An experienced financier, entrepreneur and real estate investor, Mort is a founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of STORE Capital (NYSE: STOR), one of the largest, and fastest growing net-lease Real Estate Investment Trusts in the US. Over four decades, he has formed and managed more than 20 real estate companies, taking three of them public onto the New York Stock Exchange. His companies have successfully invested over $13 billion in single-tenant commercial real estate projects since 1981.

More importantly, Mort and Donna are using their means to make a difference in the lives of young people through their Fleischer Scholars Programs at Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas. These week-long summer programs for rising high school seniors are free to participants, and designed for economically disadvantaged high school students interested in pursuing business careers. Students selected for the program benefit from a multitude of resources as they learn the necessary skills for success in college and beyond.

In his forthcoming book, Building Your Mental Balance Sheet, Mort writes:

This saddle was commissioned by Mr. and Mrs. Mort Fleischer for their saddle collection - the largest private saddle collection in the world.

This saddle was commissioned by Mr. and Mrs. Mort Fleischer for their saddle collection – the largest private saddle collection in the world.

“The inspiration came to me while I was on the campus of Washington University (my alma mater) in St. Louis, Missouri. High up in one of the university’s buildings, as I looked out toward East St. Louis, Illinois, which is actually one of the most poverty stricken cities in the United States, I realized that there had to be a lot of smart and talented students out there, who “didn’t know what they didn’t know.” I believed that if they were provided the right opportunities—like a college education—they could become responsible, productive citizens and make major contributions to the world that would otherwise go unrealized. “We will never fully achieve the American dream unless our society creates ways to bring the socially and economically disadvantaged people of this nation into the mainstream. I’ve come to understand that this wasn’t going to just happen on its own, in a society as complex as ours, nor did I believe that it could be accomplished by the American government’s welfare system. So I set out on my own to assist in bringing the American Dream within the grasp of capable young people…

“In America, your future is not determined by your past or your present circumstances. Your future is determined by you, and it starts now.”

 Thanks, Mort and Donna, for inspiring Steve and me with your vision and your care for others, and for your desire to make a long-lasting impact upon American society.

Click to learn more about the Olin Fleischer Scholars Program.