Seminar connects social networking, career opportunities

IUS Horizon

Jim Kanning and Lynn Prinz, directors of Career Services, teach students how to use social media for career seeking possibilities during Digital Social Networking on Oct. 20.

Students gathered in  University Center, room 122, to learn how to use social networking and make connections for careers.

Jim Kanning and Lynn Prinz, directors of Career Services, presented “Digital Social Networking.” The seminar was sponsored by the Veteran’s Program, Career Services and the Intern to Earn program.

Intern to Earn is a new intern program for the greater Louisville area that provides intern opportunities to keep interns working and learning in the community.

The seminar focused on social networks, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and how to use them for making connections for future careers. The seminar brought students of IU Southeast and surrounding areas, interns and employers together.

“It’s all about communicating and reaching out to other people,” Kanning said. “Use the processes you use every day [with social networks] to market yourself.”

LinkedIn is a business-orientated social networking site and has more than 75 million registered users and is currently used in more than 200 countries.

LinkedIn has the same interactive experience found on other social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, except the purpose of the network is to make connections with other professionals.

“LinkedIn is the professional side of social networking,” Prinz said. “You want to update it, complete it and keep your name out there so that you are making connections.”

During the seminar, Prinz demonstrated how to use LinkedIn. She showed some of the interactive features that help members make connections with professionals.

“[Students] want to create the hype that gets their name out there,” Prinz said.

Prinz said it is important to use  social media in a positive way because it can affect someone’s future.

Prinz said a minimum of 40 to 50 percent of employers look at social networks before an interview. Students should be cautious of how they present themselves through their media.

Sarah Early, business finance sophomore, was unfamiliar with LinkedIn prior to the seminar, but she said it would be beneficial.

“It will help me find a job,” Early said. “I can use it to find internships and use it to help with a career.”

Prinz and Kanning both said social networking will not be enough.

Social networking is good to create connections but should not replace personal interaction.

“You have to be willing to go out and make face-to-face connections,” Kanning said. “Facebook and LinkedIn networking within the computer are not enough.”

Kanning and Prinz both have LinkedIn accounts and said they encourage more students to get them and to use them habitually.

“We know students need to be networking and making connections,” Kanning said. “Students fail to understand how to make these connections. Using LinkedIn helps them interact with professionals.”

Kanning said he uses his LinkedIn account to help students find connections with businesses, as well as connecting with other career services.

By connecting with other career service programs on other campuses, Kanning said he can see what else the IUS Career Services can do for students.

Prinz left students with one final caution about social networking, “Keep it professional.”