LinkedIn is the leading professionally-oriented social networking site – over 400 million people use it. It is often the first place prospective employers go when considering a candidate for a position, both for jobs and internships. It is also the best way for you to connect with Bowdoin alumni working in fields and locations that interest you to ask for informational interviews. By joining affiliation “groups” – such as Bowdoin Career Advisory Network (BCAN) – and following companies and organizations of interest, you will start to build your professional presence. Having a strong LinkedIn profile is as important as having a strong resume and cover letter. Watch the three short videos to help you create your LinkedIn profile page.
A PDF overview of this page and videos is available. Click here to view.
How Do I Begin?
Sign up for your account and create your basic profile. (Hint: Before you begin, you may want to first create a resume using Optimal Resume and have it reviewed by a career advisor.) Next, read several other profiles.
WATCH: Getting Started
Create a Winning Profile
LinkedIn is a way for potential employers to find and learn more about you, so you’ll want to create a strong profile.
WATCH: LinkedIn 101 – Building Your Profile
Building Your Network
After you’ve built a strong profile, you’ll want to make sure you have a strong network to help you find your way.
WATCH: LinkedIn 101 – Building Your Network
Joining groups related to your interest areas will expand the network of people to whom you have access.
We recommend the Bowdoin Career Advisory Network (BCAN) — BCAN is a network of Bowdoin alumni who are eager to share their career expertise with current students. Join the BCAN group today to begin building career connections with Polar Bear alums.
Connecting with a BCAN Alum on LinkedIn
If you’ve found someone interesting who is in a job or field you would like to be in, reach out to them! The third video in the series above details how to search BCAN and navigate to the message page. Send a friendly message to a person of interest where you mention that you are also a Bowdoin student or member of the BCAN group, and want to hear more about what they do. A sample message can be found below.
“Hi Mr. Smith,
I am a senior at Bowdoin College and a fellow member of the BCAN group. Currently, I am looking to learn about job opportunities where I can utilize my creative talents. Through your LinkedIn profile, I saw that you are now working as a creative project developer at Indigo, and that you have a history with video production. Videography is also a passion of mine, but I am also open to many different creative possibilities. If you have time to speak with me about your experience working at Indigo and perhaps share some ideas with me about job opportunities in this field, I would sincerely appreciate it.
I will make myself available for any time you may have for a phone call or visit. I look forward to hearing from you.
Todd R. Hermann ’15
Be sure to check out Career Planning’s Networking essential guide before you message an alumni and before you have an informational interview. Also be sure to check your LinkedIn inbox frequently if you’ve reached out to someone.
Learn more about BCAN, and finding Bowdoin alumni, by visiting our Using BCAN page.
Presentation and video narration on first three videos by Sam Sloate ’18.