Career strategist for young, aspiring, and mid-career professionals, Lindsay Guthrie of The Career Path Partners spoke with WashingtonExec’s College Leadership Committee on the importance of developing your own professional brand.
Guthrie, a Graduate of Harvard University as well as UVA’s Darden School of Business, began her discussion by explaining the importance of using LinkedIn in developing a brand that you are projecting into the market. Aside from developing your own brand, Guthrie explained that LinkedIn can be used for networking and job searching.
“When thinking about social media, high school and college students are bombarded with ’what not to do’ online when it comes to getting a job. However, thinking about what they “should be doing” on social media, so that they create their own professional brand is incredibly important as they embark on a career search. We talked about a few basic things like establishing a professional presence on LinkedIn, but also how to build their own professional networks, so that when searching for an internship and full time job they can leverage those relationships to help them learn more and identify even more opportunities.”
Guthrie expanded on her explanation of using LinkedIn to develop network contacts by emphasizing the importance of giving as much information as possible to give your page a higher SEO (Search Engine Optimization). By having a higher SEO, a potential contact or employer is more likely to come across your profile. Guthrie also showed the group the alumni search tool on LinkedIn. Guthrie believes that this tool is important to use because LinkedIn will eventually make college databases obsolete due to the rate at which LinkedIn updates each person’s information.
The WashingtonExec College Leadership Committee is a group of college students whose parents are part of the broader WashingtonExec community and who are looking to establish their professional networks while in school. Recent college graduates as well as interested high school seniors are eligible to attend. Previous topics for the group have included internships, resume building, college recruiting tips, the security clearance process and how to construct a proper elevator pitch. The group meets three times a year, in December, May and July.